Hopes Fade for Six Missing in Indonesia


By MarEx 2016-11-07 13:28:11

The death toll from a boat accident off an Indonesian island rose to 54 on the third day of a search for survivors, police said, with hopes fading on Friday for six people still missing.

A packed boat carrying 98 Indonesian migrant workers, most of them illegal, and three crew sank off Indonesia's Batam Island at around dawn on Wednesday, having departed from Malaysia's southern state of Johor. The boat hit a reef in Tanjung Bemban waters due in strong winds.

Police say 41 survivors have been found. A crew member has been detained on suspicion of a shipping violation, and police were looking for the captain, who had fled.

The fate of a third crew member was unknown.

Most of the Indonesian workers were returning home after overstaying in Malaysia, and authorities say that the boat should not have not been so overloaded.

The lack of a passenger manifest had made it difficult to determine the exact number aboard, and strong currents are hampering search efforts.