JAKARTA, Indonesia – A woman was killed and 25 people were missing after a boat carrying workers from a timber company sank Wednesday on a river in the Indonesian part of Borneo island, an official said.
Rescuers plucked 14 people to safety after the boat carrying 40 workers sank at around 6:00 pm (1100 GMT) as it travelled across the Mahakam River in East Kalimantan province, according to the national disaster agency.
“The boat was a large vessel and had life jackets on board, but the people we have saved weren’t wearing them, so we fear the missing are not wearing them either,” local head of the agency, Wahyu Didit, said.
Didit said the military and police were assisting in the search for the workers from plywood company Kalamur, and seven boats had been sent out to look for survivors.
“So far one woman has died and 14 people have been rescued,” Didit said, adding the search would continue into the night and tomorrow. He added it was unclear why the boat sank and the weather had been fine at the time.
Such accidents are common in Indonesia, where boats have a poor safety record and the 240-million population is scattered over a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands.