JAKARTA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — A speedboat carrying 93 workers capsized off Indonesia’s west Batam Island early Wednesday, leaving at least 20 dead and 34 others missing.
The boat capsized in waters off Batam Island after departing from Malaysia, said Azman MP, head of emergency department of the disaster agency in Batam Island.
Extreme weather and overloading were blamed for the shipwreck, he revealed.
Rescuers were combing the waters off Batam Island in Kepulauan Riau province to retrieve the missing after 39 passengers were rescued.
Soldiers, police and personnel from local search and rescue office took parts in the search operation, Hardin Nofi’i, head of emergency unit at the provincial disaster agency told Xinhua.
“More than 50 personnel are searching for the victims. The operation is focused on the waters of Tanjung Mata off Batam Island where the boat sank,” Hardin said.
The official said that the operation would continue until night if the weather condition was favorable.
“If it is not, the operation will be halted at 6:00 p.m. Jakarta time (1100 GMT), and it will resume Thursday morning,” Hardin said.
Boat is a favorite transport means in Indonesia, an archipelago country with over 17,500 islands.