23 killed, 17 missing in Indonesia ferry fire

Jakarta, Jan 1 (IANS) At least 23 persons were killed, 20 injured and 17 others were missing in a fire that broke out on a passenger ferry in the waters of the Jakarta Gulf on Sunday, disaster agency officials said.

Nine of the 20 injured persons are suffering from serious burns and were being treated at a nearby hospital, an official in charge at Jakarta’s disaster management agency office told Xinhua news agency.

With nearly 200 persons on board, the Zahro Express ferry heading to Tidung island caught fire in the Jakarta Gulf after leaving Muara Angke sea port of Jakarta.

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

Most of the passengers on 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.

–IANS

sm/vt

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