Indonesian ferry fire carrying 271 people

The ferry carrying 271 people caught fire off the Indonesian island of Bali, but there are no reports of casualties and authorities are working to evacuate.

The passenger ferry Mutiara Timur I, with 236 passengers and 35 crew members, caught fire today in the Bali Strait, about 1.5 km from Karangasem beach.

Bali Search and Rescue Agency chief Gede Darmada said dozens of rescuers, navy sailors and local fishermen were working together in an effort to evacuate passengers from the Mutiara Timur I ferry onto two navy ships. . There are currently no reports of casualties.

“We are focusing on the evacuation effort,” Darmada said, adding that the cause of the ferry fire was under investigation.





The passenger ferry Mutiara Timur I caught fire off the coast of Bali on November 16.  Photo: Twitter/@gchahal.

The passenger ferry Mutiara Timur I caught fire off the coast of Bali on November 16. Image: Twitter/@gchahal.

Photos and videos released by Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency showed rescuers sitting in pontoon boats evacuating people aboard the navy ship, while the ferry Mutiara Timur I was still spewing smoke. black.

According to Darmada, the ferry was traveling from the town of Ketapang in East Java to the port of Lembar in West Nusa Tenggara province.

Indonesian ferry fire carrying 271 passengers

The passenger ferry Mutiara Timur I caught fire off the coast of Bali on November 16. Video: Twitter/@gchahal.

Maritime accidents caused by overcrowding and low safety standards are common in Indonesia, a nation of more than 17,000 islands where ferries are commonly used to navigate.

In 2018, an overloaded ferry carrying about 200 people sank in a deep lake in North Sumatra province, killing 167 people. In 1999, an overloaded ship carrying 332 people sank and only 20 people survived.

Ngoc Anh (Theo AP)

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