2 Nov 2011

Eight dead as asylum seeker boat sinks

11:36 am on 2 November 2011

Eight people have drowned and 15 are still missing following the sinking of an asylum seeker boat off Indonesia.

The boat sank off the west coast of Java in Indonesian waters.

Australia's home affairs minister Brendan O'Connor says it is likely those on board were heading to Australia.

Some 57 people have been rescued, the ABC reports.

At least one of those who died was a child.

The deputy police commissioner for the area, Agus Santoso, has told the ABC bad weather and overcrowding may have contributed to the accident.

The nine metre long wooden boat was carrying more than 70 people.

Indonesian authorities are searching for those still missing.