The Jakarta Post
Dozens of passengers sustained minor to major-degree burns when a public ship operated by the Transportation Agency serving Muara Angke'Thousand Islands, set ablaze after leaving a North Jakarta port on Wednesday morning.
At least 36 of a total of 79 passengers with burn injuries were immediately rushed to the public hospital and a community health center (Puskesmas) on Pramuka Island, Thousand Islands regency, after the incident occurred.
Four of the victims sustained severe burns, while the remaining experienced minor.
The Jakarta Health Agency's Thousand Islands unit official Agus said the victims with severe injuries would be transferred to a Jakarta hospital for further medical treatment.
According to Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, the city-operated Paus ship left Kaliadem Harbor at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
The ship was carrying 67 passengers, 11 crew members and one ship captain. During the trip, 53 passengers were dropped off at Untung Jawa Island and Pari Island, Thousand Islands regency, while the remaining passengers were set to arrive at the Pramuka and Kelapa Islands.
'However, when the ship was in Gosong Sekati waters, near Pramuka Island, a loud explosion was heard in the rear engine, which caused an electricity outage on the ship,' Rikwanto said.
The ship's crew immediately contacted authorities at Kaliadem Harbor to alert the Thousand Islands Police. The police were able to evacuate victims and bring them to Pramuka General Hospital on Pramuka island.
'Currently, 22 people are still being treated by a medical team at the general hospital,' he said.
Meanwhile, as of Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama said he had yet to receive a thorough report on the incident.
Ahok, however, was quick to address the crisis, saying that he would instruct the Jakarta Transportation Agency to study the incident.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Muhammad Akbar said that the ship had been pulled to the port.
'We don't know the cause of the incident just yet,' Akbar told The Jakarta Post, adding that, 'a thorough investigation is underway.'
The ship'KM Paus'will be temporarily suspended for an overhaul checkup.
In a short-term effort to prevent a similar incident from reoccurring, Akbar said he would call on all crew members of city-operated ships to carry out an engine check every day.
The Jakarta Transportation Agency operates 12 ships connecting Jakarta to various islands in the Thousand Islands regency.
The ages of the ships vary, ranging from one to 10 years old.
'The Paus ship was quite new, it has been in operation since 2012,' he said.
Akbar cited that all city-operated ships went through overhaul checkups, which he referred to as a 'docking period', once a year.
'They are usually in November or December,' he told the Post. (fss)
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