Indonesian passenger boat carrying 240 caught fire; 14 people died

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta — A boat carrying 240 people caught fire on Monday off southern Indonesia, killing 14 people, rescue officials said.

The KM Express Cantika 77 was heading to Kalabahi from Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara province when it caught fire. Officials said it was carrying 230 passengers and 10 crew members.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Rescuers from the Kupang Search and Rescue Agency and nearby ships picked up 226 survivors, the National Search and Rescue Agency said in a statement. It said 14 people were confirmed dead.

Ferry and boat tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands where ferries are often used for transport and safety is lax.

In 2018, an overloaded ferry with about 200 people on board sank in a deep crater lake in North Sumatra province, killing 167 people.

In one of the country’s worst recorded disasters, an overloaded passenger ship sank in February 1999 with 332 people on board. Only 20 people survived.


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