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Five killed in Indonesia boat fire

The remains of victims wait to be removed from the area after a fire ripped through a boat carrying tourists to islands north of the capital, at Muara Angke port in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 1, 2017. — Reuters pic
The remains of victims wait to be removed from the area after a fire ripped through a boat carrying tourists to islands north of the capital, at Muara Angke port in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 1, 2017. — Reuters pic

JAKARTA, May 20 — At least five people were killed when a boat carrying nearly 200 people caught fire in Indonesia, rescuers said today.

The vessel caught fire yesterday afternoon in the waters off the archipelago’s main Java island, prompting the captain to order people to abandon the boat, the national disaster management agency said.

The agency said the fire might have caused by a short circuit in one of the trucks carried on board.

Rescuers have evacuated 141 people and recovered five bodies in the incident, the local chief of the search and rescue agency, Mochammad Arifin, told AFP. 

Authorities were checking the manifest to determine whether anyone else was missing, Arifin said.

Boat accidents are common in Indonesia, a vast network of islands that relies heavily on water transport. 

In January, 23 Indonesian tourists were killed when a massive fire erupted in a boat carrying hundreds of people to an island north of Jakarta to celebrate the New Year. — AFP

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