Indonesian authorities say five people have died after a ferry caught fire in the Java Sea, but a nearby ship has been able to rescue 187 people from the vessel. The national search and rescue agency’s operations director, Ivan Ahmad Riski, said 193 people have been rescued. The number of missing was unclear.
The agency’s initial figure for the number of people aboard, apparently based on the vessel’s manifest, was 178. It is not uncommon for ferries, a regular form of transport in the Indonesian archipelago, to be overcrowded or to carry more passengers than declared.
Survivors told authorities that the fire started on the ferry’s vehicle deck and spread uncontrollably, forcing the captain to order all on board to abandon ship.
Top Image: In this aerial photo released by Indonesian Search And Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), thick smoke billows from passenger ferry Mutiara Sentosa 1 which caught fire in Java Sea Saturday, May 20, 2017. The ferry caught fire Friday evening leaving a number of people dead and hundreds others rescued, Indonesian authorities said Saturday