LotusFlower, thanks for getting this story out so quickly. It will now show up on the home page for four hours. If new developments justify it, I'll renew this flag for another cycle.
Indonesian Ferry sinks with 250 passengers and 17 crew
An Indonesian ferry has sunk with 250 passengers and 17 crew on board. A tropical cyclone with large waves is thought to have been a factor in the sinking.
The ferry was the Teratai Prima and was travelling from Pare Pare to Samarinda in East Kalimantan.
Indonesia's state-run Antara news agency said the vessel went down at 0400 local time (2100 GMT Saturday) in stormy seas.
The Indonesian Transport Agency reports 18 survivors so far and these were all rescued by local fishermen. Rescue services are now searching the area for other survivors.
Indonesia is an area where ferry accidents are common due to poor health and safety regulations.
Transport Minister Jusman Syafi'i Djamal said that 150 people have so far been recovered but does not say if they are dead or alive. This leaves 100 people still unaccounted for.
A ferry carrying about 250 passengers and 17 crew has sunk in a storm in central Indonesia, officials say.
A port official said several crew members had been found alive, but the fate of the passengers was not clear.
He said the ferry from Sulawesi to Kalimantan was battered by waves of up to two metres (seven feet).
He said 150 people had been taken off the vessel but he did not know whether they were dead or alive.
The ferry was travelling between Pare-pare, on the island of Sulawesi, and Samarinda, in East Kalimantan, Elshinta radio station reported earlier.
A maritime official said the ferry was about 30 miles off Majene, western Sulawesi, when authorities lost contact with it around 6pm GMT on Saturday.
"A ferry with more than 250 people on board, plus 17 crew and one captain, sank with four crew surviving," the official said.
"Search and rescue teams have been sent to the area."
It was not immediately clear if authorities expected to find more survivors.
A ferry carrying around 250 passengers and 17 crew has sunk in a storm in central Indonesian waters, officials said today.
Two-metre high waves battered the boat as it sailed from the island of Sulawesi to Kalimantan, the Indonesian half of Borneo.
A port official said the passenger ship went down early today.
He said several crew members have been found alive, but the fate of the passengers was unclear.
Indonesia's public transport perils - article