Tuesday, December 30, 2008

At Least 11 Killed In Boat Capsize

At least 11 people were killed, 22 survived and an unknown number were missing after a small boat capsized off Indonesia’s main island of Java yesterday morning, officials said. The incident took place about 10am (0300 GMT) when a small wooden boat packed with more than 30 people overturned in the Java Sea off the northern coast of the Central Java district of Pemalang, about 300km east of Jakarta, police and health officials said. “We have so far received 10 bodies and 17 survivors from the accident,” said Vita, a nurse at Pemalang’s M Ashari General Hospital, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name. She said reports from the beach areas indicated that an unknown number of other passengers on the boat were still missing and feared drowned. Among the dead were a seven-month-old female baby, a six-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl. Another body and five survivors were sent to Pemalang’s Santa Maria Hospital, the hospital’s spokesman Hasan Sidik confirmed.Local media reports put the death toll range from 10-to-14, with at least 30 others people surviving in the accident, while at least 12 others were listed as missing. Rescue workers, comprising navy police officers and fishermen, were searching for more bodies or survivors. Witnesses told the Jakarta-based Elshinta private radio that the accident occurred because the boat, which was only allowed to carry up to 10 people, was packed with around 40, including several children on an outing to mark the Islamic New Year. The boat overturned after a huge wave hit at about 200m from the beach, sending passengers into the rough seas. Meanwhile, two bodies were found and three other people were missing after five students were swept away by sea waves in the Tabanan beach area on the Indonesian resort island of Bali yesterday, reported a online news service. One of the two bodies was picked up by rescue workers after washing up on the beach, not far from where the five were reported missing shortly before mid-day, the report said.

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