Death toll climbs to 55 after boat sinks off Indonesia

Death toll continues to rise after ferry sinks in stormy waters on Saturday off Sulawesi island in Indonesia

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Death toll climbs to 20 after boat sinks off Indonesia

The search continued for more than 20 people still missing on Wednesday after a ferry sunk off Sulawesi Island on Saturday as the death toll from the incident rose to 55.

The fibreglass vessell, named "Marina Baru," was carrying 118 passengers and crew when it ran into trouble and went down in the Gulf of Bone in stormy waters.

According to a spokesperson for South and West Sulawesi Regional Police, search and rescue teams recorded a total of 95 people have been discovered, 40 of them alive and 55 dead to date.

Out of 48 bodies recovered on Wednesday, 28 bodies were found in East Luwu regency, 13 in the waters of Palopo city and seven in Bone Bay, which opens into the Banda Sea, Frans Barung Mangera told the Anadolu Agency.

An official from the Disaster Management Agency of Luwu regency initially confirmed that a fisherman found seven bodies believed to be from the KM Marina vessel that sank with at least 118 people on board Saturday afternoon.

"Initially, a fisherman was just looking for his friend, but in the middle of his journey, he found seven bodies in Bulu Puloe," Aminuddin, the head of the agency’s disaster and logistics department - who like many Indonesians uses only one name - told the local Tribun Makassar newspaper, reported Anadolu Agency.

The recovery came a day after another fisherman reportedly came across four bodies in the waters of East Luwu, with the victims being transported to a nearby hospital to be identified, Anadolu Agency said.

Soelistyo said search and rescue operations will continue in the forthcoming days.

"It depends on the result of the day to day operation," he said.

On Tuesday Dec. 22, two passengers were found alive, including the captain of the ferry, Reuters reported an official as saying.

TRTWorld and agencies