15 die as boat tips in eastern Indonesia

October 19, 2007 05:38

A crowded passenger boat capsized in eastern Indonesia, killing at least 15 people, with several others possibly missing, officials said. More than 60 people survived the accident. Local police chief Mochammad Badrus said survivors reported that the Acita III tipped after scores of passengers suddenly climbed to its upper deck to try and get mobile phone signals as it closed in on land. Badrus said 146 people were on board when it tipped close to Buton island late Thursday, while another official, Harijogi, the director general of sea transportation at the transport ministry, put the number of passengers and crew at 82. Such discrepancies are common in Indonesia, where passenger manifests are not accurately kept.

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