A fishing boat carrying survivors of a ferry fire prepares to dock at a port in Sumenep, Indonesia.
Indonesian rescuers found three people dead and evacuated 300 from the blazing wreckage of a Ferry off the coast of Java island, an official said on Saturday, significantly more than were originally said to have been on board the vessel.
The KM Santika Nusantara was travelling between Indonesia's second-largest city of Surabaya and the town of Balikpapan on Borneo island when it caught fire on Thursday evening, government official Syahrul Nugroho told TV channel TV One. It was initially reported there were 277 people on board.
A statement from the Basarnas rescue agency said on Saturday it had been confirmed there were 303 people on board, three of whom were killed.
"The search will continue today," Basarnas official Budi Prasetyo told Reuters earlier. Basarnas deployed ships from nearby ports and an aircraft for air monitoring.
Prasetyo acknowledged the discrepancy in the number of people said to have been on board and said many passengers did not list their names on the Ferry's manifest.
Officials have given no details about the possible cause of the fire. Rescue efforts were complicated by the boat's manifest listing only 111 passengers, officials said.
Mismatches in passenger data have been a long-standing problem in Indonesia's transportation sector.
Ferries are an important means of transport in Indonesia, which is made up of some 17,000 islands.
Sea connections are cheaper and more extensive than air links. However, safety standards are not always strictly enforced and accidents occur fairly often.
The cause of the fire was still being investigated, he said at a news conference. Pertamina officials said there was lightning and heavy rain at the time the fire broke out. About 15 people were slightly injured and authorities said they were checking on the whereabouts of three others.
Indonesia on Friday rejected Malaysian complaints about hazardous smoke drifting from its forest fires across the border, saying blazes were also raging in parts of Malaysia and on Malaysian-owned plantations in Indonesia.
The area has been racked by civil unrest for two weeks over perceived racial and ethnic discrimination. Some protesters are also demanding an independence vote, although authorities have ruled out such a possibility.
Blasts at a Soviet-era dam in the Russian controlled part of southern Ukraine on Tuesday unleashed floodwaters across the war zone, according to both Ukrainian and Russian forces who blamed each other for blowing-up the dam.
Nearly 13,400 people were forced to evacuate as water consumed hundreds of homes around the country, turning some streets into raging rivers of brown water, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency.
Sheikh Hamdan said on Twitter, "We extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family, relatives, companions and readers of Khalid Al Qashtini, the Iraqi journalist and writer, and the owner of the creative pen, who enriched our Arab world with his publications. With his departure, the Arab media loses a symbol of creativity.”