Terrible tragedy caused death of 23 people and 17 others are still missing after Indonesia-flagged ferry Zahro Express caught fire off Untung Jawa. The ship suffered explosion and was engulfed by flames several 15 minutes after leaving the Port of Kali Adem, Muara Angke en route to Tidung Island. The ship had 234 passengers on board and las located about 1 nautical miles off Muara Angke, when the fire erupted, which caused panic on board. Many of the people jumped overboard, while some were rescued by the rescue boats, which were dispatched at the scene of the fire. The death toll may rise as the exact number of the people is not yet confirmed by the local authorities. Currently were rescued 194 people and Coast Guard recovered the bodies of 23 deaths and know about 17 missing.
The accident on board of the Indonesian ferry Zahro Express is under investigation. Some of the witness evidences call about explosion on board. The authorities are working on different versions for the circumstances around the accident, including terrorism.
“There was a cloud of smoke in the engine compartment. The engine was on fire. People moved into the fore part of the ship”, said the Head of the Fire and Rescue Department of Thousand Islands, Edi Rudiyanto.
According to the authorities the vessel was overloaded, which additionally worsen the tragedy. The search and rescue operations are under way.
“Based on preliminary data, 194 passengers survived and 23 died”, said Sepli Madreta of BPBDs Jakarta. “Nine people were still being treated at Atma Jaya Hospital in North Jakarta and at least 17 are still missing”, added he.
The local authorities and firefighters succeeded to extinguish the flames, but the ferry Zahro Express was completed burned out by the flames. The firefighters and Coast Guard officers boarded the ferry and started inspection to examine the number of people and to find more evidences for the root cause.