Indonesia’s search and rescue agency has confirmed that at least eight people have died after a boat carrying more than 40 passengers capsized in the waters north of Kalimantan.
According to the agency, the incident occurred at about 08:15 local time (00:15 GMT) on Monday. The boat named the Anugrah Express was traveling from Tanjung Selor to Tarakan in Kalimantan.
The agency added that it is not yet identified what caused the incident. Several of the vessel’s passengers including children are missing.
“We don’t know yet what caused the accident and how exactly it happened,” rescue agency spokesperson Gusti Anwar Mulyadi as reported by BBC News. “We are focusing on finding the remaining passengers.”
Despite being a key form of transportation in many parts of the archipelago, safety records of ferries and small boats have been poor with boat overcrowding and poor maintenance being the most common problems.
On January 1 last year, more than 20 people were killed after a ferry burst into flames shortly after setting sail from a port in Jakarta off the coast of Indonesia.