An overloaded boat carrying people home to celebrate the end of Ramadan with their families capsized off Indonesia’s main island of Java, killing at least 17 and leaving four others missing, police said yesterday.
The Arim Jaya was traveling from Ra’as village on Madura island to nearby Kalianget when it capsized Monday after being hit by a 1-meter wave, East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said.
The wooden boat was carrying 60 people but was designed for just 30.
Mangera said search teams and local fishermen rescued 39 people.
Extra boats joined the search after weather conditions improved yesterday and rescuers recovered at least 17 bodies, including four children, he said. They were searching for four others who were reported missing, he said.
Television news showed grieving relatives waiting for information at a port and a nearby hospital.
Millions of Muslims across the country travel to their hometowns to celebrate the weeklong Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Boats and ferries are popular means of transportation in the archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands. Accidents caused by overcrowding and poor safety standards are common. AP