Death toll of Indonesia’s sunken overloaded-boat rises to 8

The number of casualties of an overloaded passenger-speed boat that capsized in the waters off Indonesia’s western province of Riau on Thursday increased to eight, with several others missing, an official said.

Kukuh Widodo, press officer at the provincial search and rescue office, told Xinhua by phone that a total of 58 people have been rescued by the joint-rescue team, comprised of the search and rescue office, soldiers, policemen and volunteers.

Widodo said that the speed boat was carrying about 80 people, citing that the search and rescue office awaits information from passengers’ relatives or families to determine the precise number of missing persons.

The speed boat, SB Evelyn Calisca 01, sank in the waters off Pulau Burung of Indragiri Hilir district at about 16:00 p.m. Jakarta time (0900 GMT), according to him.

Several passengers are still trapped inside the boat and rescuers are attempting to remove them from the boat, Widodo said.

The speed boat departed from a seaport in Indragiri Hilir district and was heading to a seaport in Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Riau Islands province, he said. ■

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