Indonesia: Captain of boat on which 23 died questioned

Search continues for 17 passengers still thought to be missing from overcrowded boat that caught fire New Year's Eve

Indonesia: Captain of boat on which 23 died questioned

World Bulletin / News Desk

Indonesian police are questioning the captain of a tourist boat after it burst into flames on New Years Day killing at least 23 people.

Authorities continue to search surrounding waters after 190 passengers were rescued from the Zahro Express on Sunday morning, which was carrying tourists from Jakarta to Tidung Island in the Thousand Islands Regency to the capital's north.

 "Investigators have named the ship's captain a suspect," the director of the Jakarta police water commission, Hero Hendrianto Bachtiar, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

Police have said they suspect Captain Mohammad Nali violated laws governing ship safety, for which he faces up to ten years in prison.

The head of the Jakarta Transportation Department has said that the body would investigate an apparent discrepancy between the number of passengers listed on the manifest and those on board the boat at the time of the accident.

"It may be an inaccurate passenger manifest," Andriansyah -- who like many Indonesians uses one name -- said, adding that the vessel only had a capacity of 259 passengers.

"Some [people] say 300 passengers [were on board], some say 238 passengers," he said.

Sailing permits issued by the harbormaster, however, show the vessel was registered as carrying 100 people.

The National Disaster Management Agency has said that of the 23 passengers who died, three were found floating in the sea while 20 died in the fire.

Identification is reported to be proving difficult, as most of the victims were charred and unrecognizable.

On Wednesday, the SAR team continued the search for 17 passengers still thought to be missing.

Indonesia's waterways serve as a widespread form of transportation in some areas of the archipelago, where accidents resulting from overcrowded boats and lax safety standards are common.

 

 
Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ocak 2017, 15:47
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