Fire on Indonesian ferry kills 14 passengers

In May 2021, the KM Karya Indah ferry sailed in the Molucca Sea heading for Sanana on the island of Limafatola when a fire broke out with 275 people on board. All were rescued. Photo: Jakarta Post

Ferry KM Express Cantika 77, carrying more than 300 passengers, caught on fire off the coast of Indonesia on Monday killing 14. The ferry was on its way from Kalabahu to Kupang when the fire occured.

As reported by Danish tabloid media, BT, rescue teams of the local coast guard salvaged at least 312 and local video footage showed how several persons, and a newborn baby, was rescued from the waters.

Ferry accidents, involving deaths, are not rare in Indonesia. In 2018, 167 passengers lost their lives when a dangerously overloaded ferry sank on the Lake Toba in the Northern Sumatra, while 312 passengers died in 1999 under the same circumstances only leaving 20 passengers alive.
Additionally, 26 people went missing in May this year after a ferry ran out of fuel and sank in bad weather off the coast of Indonesia in the Makassar Strait.

Upon the accident in 2018, a maritime security expert explained Indonesian ferry accidents to be common because of often weak maritime safety regulations and said local governments did not have sufficient funds or human resources to ensure safety standards, frameworks or implementations.


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

View all posts by Jeannette Hinrup

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