25 missing after shipwreck of cargo ship in Indonesia

Rescue teams in Indonesia are searching for 25 people missing after a cargo ship capsized in the Makassar Strait in South Sulawesi province, authorities said on Sunday.

A total of 42 people were on board when the ship capsized in bad weather Thursday morning while traveling from a seaport in Makassar to Kalmas Island in Pangkep Regency, said Djunaidi, head of the provincial search and rescue agency. Like many Indonesians, Djunaidi has only one name.

Seventeen people were subsequently rescued, including some by two tugboats that were out at sea at the time of the incident.

Djunaidi said the search and rescue agency received new information about the location of the sunken boat on Saturday and sent teams to the area.

Two motor boats and a search and rescue boat, along with local fishing boats and Indonesian air force helicopters, are involved in the search for the missing people.

The vessel that sank was initially said to be a passenger ferry, but Djunaidi later clarified that it was a cargo ship carrying construction materials. There was a crew of six along with 36 passengers who had requested a ride on the boat.

Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, where ferries are often used for transportation and safety regulations can expire.

In 2018, an overcrowded ferry carrying around 200 people capsized in a deep volcanic crater lake in North Sumatra province, killing 167 people.

In one of the worst disasters on record in the country, an overcrowded passenger ship with 332 people on board sank in February 1999. There were only 20 survivors.

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