Ferry catches fire while underway in northeastern Indonesia; all on board rescued

Photo: Basarnas
Photo: Basarnas

Indonesian officials have confirmed that all 195 people who were on board a passenger vessel that caught fire while underway in the country's northeast over the weekend have been safely rescued.

The ferry Karya Indah was sailing in the Molucca Sea en route to Limafatola island when a blaze ignited on board at around 07:00 local time on Saturday, May 29.

Authorities said the fire erupted less than 15 minutes after the ferry departed the port of Ternate in North Maluku province.

The 181 passengers and 14 crewmembers were forced to jump into the sea as the fire spread throughout the vessel. All occupants were pulled out of the water by vessel crews despatched by the country's Basarnas search and rescue (SAR) agency.

The rescued individuals also included 22 children and one 43-year-old male who was initially reported as missing.

The survivors said that the fire originated in the engine room.

The incident is under investigation.

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