Storm sinks Indonesian ferry, 250 feared dead

January 12, 2009 05:24

High tides hindered rescuers Monday as they searched for nearly 250 people missing and feared dead after a ferry capsized off Indonesia's Sulawesi island. About 250 passengers and 17 crew were believed to have been aboard the 700-ton Teratai Prima when it sank Sunday morning as it traveled from the western port of Parepare to Samarinda on the Indonesian half of Borneo island. At least 22 people, including four crew members, were pulled from the sea by fishermen Sunday before the military launched an operation at daybreak Monday. Indonesians generally don't know how to swim, and the others on board were feared dead. "Another 250 names listed as passengers are still missing," said Junaidi, a port official in Parepare, where some of the survivors were taken to a hospital. He uses one name, which is customary in Indonesia. The ferry went down 50 kilometers off the coast off western Sulawesi.

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