A person was reported missing in Indonesia after a fire on a ferry that resulted in the evacuation of 274 other people on board, authorities said on Sunday. KM Karya Indah was on its way to the town of Sanana, in the Moluccas archipelago, when the fire broke out, forcing some passengers to jump into the water. “We are still looking for a 43-year-old man,” Muhammad Arafah, responsible for the rescue operation, told Kompas TV channel. He said at least 35 passengers were children.
Rescue services released impressive images of the ferry in a cloud of black smoke as passengers were nearby on life rafts. About ten crew members were arrested as part of the investigation to determine the causes of the fire.
Maritime accidents are frequent in Indonesia due to the lack of maintenance of the boats, which are a popular means of transport to circulate between the 17,000 islands and islets. In 2018, nearly 160 people drowned when a ferry sank in Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra. In 2009, more than 300 people were killed in the sinking of a ferry between the islands of Celebes and Borneo.