Jakarta : At least 13 people were killed and eight were still missing after a ferry caught fire and sank in central Indonesia, an official said on Saturday. The boat was believed to be carrying 150 passengers off the coast of Sulawesi on Friday when the blaze started.
High waves hampered initial rescue efforts but 126 people had been saved by Saturday afternoon.
A rescue operation was underway for remaining passengers. “Based on reports from the passengers’ families there are still some people missing,” transport ministry spokesman Wisnu Wardana said.
Among the deads were two toddlers. Most of the rescued passengers were found wearing life jackets. The cause was unclear. The Indonesian archipelago of over 17,000 islands is heavily reliant on boat transport.