At least 11 killed in two Indonesian boat accidents, 5 still missing

The authorities say that due to poor safety standards boat accidents are quite frequent in the country.

7 Indonesians killed, 21 remain missing in Johor boat accident
An Indonesia rescue team approaches to rescue a sunken ship Reuters (Representational Image)

At least 11 people died and five were reported missing on Thursday in two separate boat accidents on Indonesia's main island of Java, officials said. According to reports, people went missing in the waters of a vast archipelago that relies heavily on boat transport.

The authorities said that in the first incident, a wooden boat flipped over on a river in Majalengka district while it was carrying 22 people who were mostly farmers heading to harvest their crops.

Local police spokesman Yusri Yunus told AFP nine people died and 13 people have survived the accident. He added that the authorities were still investigating the cause of the accident.

However, in the second accident, two people were killed and five people went missing after a passenger boat capsized in the sea off the coast of Sidoarjo district. The rescue teams were searching for them.

Abu Hasan, the local disaster agency chief, said six others have survived the accident that occurred after the vessel ran into rough waters.

The Indonesian archipelago, which constitutes more than 17,000 islands, is hugely dependent on boat transport. However, due to poor safety standards, boat accidents are quite frequent in the country. There are often complaints regarding overloaded vessels and having too few life jackets on the boat.

In January, nearly 23 people were killed after a passenger boat ferrying around 200 people, from the capital Jakarta to nearby Tidung Island, caught fire.

In November 2016, an overcrowded speedboat carrying three crew and 98 passengers struck a reef and sunk on its way from Malaysia to Batam in Indonesia killing 54 people on board.