Asia-Pacific

Ten killed, dozens missing in Indonesian boat sinking

Map

At least 10 people have been killed and dozens are missing after a passenger boat sank in waters off eastern Indonesia, police say.

Eight of the ferry's estimated 50 passengers were found alive, police chief Abdul Rahma Aba in Adonara Timur district told an Indonesian TV channel.

The incident happened at 0900 local time (0100 GMT) just off the shore of Adonara Timur on Flores island.

Mr Aba said high waves caused the boat to capsize.

He said the boat was going from the island of Adonara to Lembata, both located just east of Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara province.

Overcrowding

"We have found 11 bodies and are still looking for about 32 missing people," said National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso.

"We cannot say now whether the chance to find any survivor is very slim. We'll do our best," he said.

He added that local fishermen were helping in the search.

Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands and inter-island ferries are a key form of transportation.

Accidents are usually the result of overcrowding or high seas, or both.

In January 2009, about 335 people died when a seriously over-crowded ferry sank off Sulawesi .

More than 500 people died when a ferry sank off the coast of Java in December 2006.

More on this story