58 missing after Indonesia boat accident

June 20, 2012
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JAKARTA, Indonesia – Two days after a wooden boat sank off eastern Indonesia, rescuers said Tuesday (June 19th) that 58 people were still missing, greatly increasing the number of people believed to be on board the vessel.

"The latest update we have so far is that the boat was carrying 70 passengers when it sank. With 12 people rescued, we still have 58 missing," rescue official Rebekka Gultom told AFP.

Search and rescue officials originally said Sunday that only 27 people had been on board and that 12 had been rescued.

"We have deployed a total of eight rescue boats to search for the missing, from maritime police, navy and (the) search agency," Gultom said.

She said that no bodies had so far been recovered.

The KM Putri Ayu was lashed by towering waves and strong winds two hours into its journey Saturday to the island of Buru.

Transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that the boat was not a passenger boat.

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