Indonesian Ferry KM FUNGKA PERMATA V caught fire and sank south of Banggai Island

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According to the crewmen, the fire broke out at mid day Friday after the engine suddenly getting hot as water coolant could not flow.  Rescuers only reached the site at 7:30 p.m. due to high waves. The rescuers also included military and police officers and BPBD officers. 126 people including 11 crew were rescued but at least 10 died and 8 still missing. “Two among the dead passengers were children below five years old,” Aksar Amir, an official of the Banggai Laut Regional Disaster Control Agency (BPBD) said. The cause of the incident was not known.

ferry-sunk-on-the-map
Ferry sunk on the map

All the survivors of the ship were ferried to Bangai port Saturday morning, said spokesman of the Transport Ministry Bambang Ervan. The search and rescue operation for possible missing people was underway, said R. Agus H. Purnomo, director general for sea transport of the Transport Ministry. Ship ferrying is a favorite transport means in Indonesia, a vast archipelago country home to over 17,500 islands.

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