20 killed in Indonesia ferry fire

Jakarta, Jan 1 (IANS) At least 20 persons were killed and 17 others injured after a passenger ship caught fire in waters off Jakarta on Sunday, officials said.

With nearly 200 persons on board, the Zahro Express ferry heading to Tidung island caught fire in Jakarta Gulf after leaving Muara Angke sea port, spokesman of National Disaster Management Agency told Xinhua news agency.

“A total of about 20 bodies, containing bodies which have been burned, have been removed from the ferry to a police hospital in Kramat Jati (of Jakarta),” acting head of Search and Rescue Office in Jakarta Hendra Sudirman said.

The flames had engulfed all parts of the ferry made from fiber, but it remained floating, he added.

Most of the passengers of the ferry were tourists on way to the Tidung island for recreation, according to him.

The ferry has been pulled back to Jakarta and now is near Muara Angke sea port.