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Jakarta Post

Death toll of KM Lestari Maju ship incident rises to 29

  • Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Makassar, South Sulawesi   /   Wed, July 4, 2018   /   11:24 am
Death toll of KM Lestari Maju ship incident rises to 29 Holding on: Passengers of KM Lestari Maju are seen floating on the waters of Selayar Islands, Bulukumba regency, South Sulawesi, after the boat capsized on July 3. (Courtesy of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency/File)

The number of people that have died following the capsizing of KM Lestari Maju in the waters of Selayar Islands,Bulukumba regency, South Sulawesi, has risen to nearly 30 as of early Wednesday morning, the Bulukumba Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) said.

BPBD Bulukumba said in a statement that as of 1:54 a.m. on Wednesday, 29 out of 139 people on board the passenger vessel, which sank on Tuesday, had been found dead.

Forty-one passengers remain missing.  Meanwhile, there are 69 known survivors, with 34 of them receiving medical treatment at hospitals.

“Search efforts are still ongoing,” said BPBD Bulukumba. “Not all passengers could get life jackets [when the accident occurred]."

(Read also: Ferry with 138 people on board sinks in South Sulawesi)

It was difficult for personnel to carry out search and rescue operations, which had taken place since Tuesday afternoon, owing to rain and high waves, which had prevented a large vessel from sailing near the location where the ship had capsized, the BPBD said.

The incident was reportedly caused by a leak in the ship’s hull that caused water to get into the ship.

It was the latest maritime incident in two weeks after the overcrowded KM Sinar Bangun sank in Lake Toba, North Sumatra. Three passengers have been found dead, while there are 22 known survivors and at least 164 others remain missing. (afr/ebf)