An overcrowded ferry sank off the coast of Indonesia, leaving five people dead and at least 18 others missing, police and media reports said on Saturday.
The ship, Sari Mulia, capsized on Friday night while travelling from Negara to Banjarmasin on Indonesia’s part of Borneo island, police Sgt. Edy said.
He said more than 100 people were rescued while five were found dead.
“Based on an initial report, at least 18 people are still missing,” he said.
Sgt. Edy said police were still investigating the cause of the accident. The official Antara news agency blamed overcrowding. It said the ship was carrying at least 132 passengers and crew and sank about 100 km from Banjarmasin.
It cited the local search and rescue chief, Abidin, who like Sgt. Edy uses only one name, as saying the missing passengers were believed trapped inside the sunken ship.
Ferries are a main source of transportation in Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands and a population of 220 million. Sea accidents are common due to overcrowding and poor safety standards.
On Wednesday a small ferry capsized off the tourist resort island of Bali, leaving nine people dead and three missing.