20 Dec 2015

Two dead and dozens missing in Indonesia

7:20 pm on 20 December 2015

Two passengers are dead and dozens of people with lifejackets have been found floating in Indonesia's Gulf of Boni, after abandoning their ferry in rough seas off Sulawesi Island.

Fishermen found four people alive in a fish trap and took them to hospital in the town of Siwa on Sulawesi Island, the head of the local rescue team, Roki Azikin told Reuters.

A transport ministry spokesman said another 21 people were later found at sea and others were out there.

"[The ship] may be upside down now," Mr Azikin said.

"Other passengers are still out in the sea wearing lifejackets and we're evacuating," he added.

The BBC reported that rescuers had found the bodies of two small children.

The ferry left the southeastern side of Sulawesi yesterday morning and was heading across the Gulf of Boni for South Slaws.

The ferry's engines stopped and it was left adrift in rough seas off the coast of south Slaws last night after high winds prevented rescuers from reaching it.

Two ships are searching for the missing vessel, which the BBC reported had 118 passengers and crew on board.

- Reuters / BBC

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