3 dead, 39 rescued after Indonesian boat capsizes in storm

Updated: 2015-12-20 15:24


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JAKARTA - At least 39 people have been rescued and three bodies recovered after a passenger boat carrying 118 people capsized off Sulawesi Island Saturday, head of local search and rescue agency said on Sunday.

"According to rescued passengers, the boat sank after being hit by a storm," Roki Asikin, head of the search and rescue office in South Sulawesi, said.

The bow of the ship sank first after it began to take on water near the Gulf of Bone Saturday afternoon, he added.

"Besides, the boat was also suffering from engine failure," he told Xinhua by phone from Makasar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi.

All of the survivors and the bodies were in a hospital of Kolaka Utara district and the Siwa port, spokesman of the Transport Ministry Julius Barata said.

KM Marina Baru 02B, which was carrying 108 passengers including 14 children and 10 crew members, was en route from Kolaka in southeast Sulawesi to Siwa in South Sulawesi.

Local rescuers said the boat was hit by storm at 15:10 local time Saturday (0810 GMT), Zainul Tjahar, spokesman of the national search and rescue office, told Xinhua.

A rescue operation was underway, involving ships, planes and volunteer boats.