Workers missing after boat sinks

Rescuers have found 10 survivors and recovered one body after a boat carrying Indonesian workers sank on its way to Malaysia two days ago.

The search continues on Thursday for nine migrant workers still missing after the incident.

The boat began leaking and sank about an hour after leaving Rupat island in the Bengkalis regency late Tuesday, Pekanbaru rescue spokesperson Kukuh Widodo said.

The 10 survivors, mostly from North Sumatra, were rescued with life jackets, Kukuh said.

Bengkalis Local Police Chief Sigit Adiwuryanto said later Thursday one passenger's body had been recovered.

Rescuers including the Indonesia navy and local water police were using an inflatable boat to search the area where the boat sank.

The chief said the survivors told the police the trip was illegal and the workers were undocumented.

Boats and ferries are popular means of transportation in the archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands. Accidents caused by overcrowding and poor safety standards are common.

In 2016, an overcrowded boat carrying 101 Indonesian migrant workers and their families home from Malaysia capsized in stormy weather off Batam island, near Singapore, killing at least 60 people.

One of the worst ferry sinking occurred off Sulawesi island in 2009, killing more than 330 people.


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