At least 20 killed as ferry catches fires in Indonesia

A ferry carrying nearly 200 people caught fire in waters off Jakarta on Sunday, leaving at least 20 people dead and 17 others injured, an official said.

Acting Head of Search and Rescue Office in Jakarta Hendra Sudirman disclosed that Zahro Express Ferry, with mostly tourists on board, has been pulled back from the scene to a sea port in Muara Angke of Jakarta.

"A total of about 20 bodies, which have been burned have been removed from the ferry to a police hospital in Kramat Jati (of Jakarta)," Sudirman told Xinhua by phone from the sea port.

"Most of the victims were found near the exit door at the front part of the ship. They may have been attempting to escape the fires," he added.

The fires have engulfed all parts of the ferry made from fiber, but it remains floating, Mr. Sudirman said.

Most of the passengers of the ferry were tourists to visit Tidung Island for recreation, according to him.

According to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster management agency, the incident left at a total of 17 people suffering from injury.

The ferry was on route from Muara Angke sea port in Jakarta to the nearby island, said he.

Source: Philippines News Agency