A collision between a Vietnamese freighter and an Indonesian sailboat off Indonesia’s East Java province left three people dead and 12 others missing, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said Sunday.
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The cargo ship MV Thaison 4 and the KM Mulya Sejati, which was carrying 27 people, collided before dawn Saturday off Tuban district, said the head of the local Disaster Mitigation Agency, Joko Loediyono.
Media reports cited witnesses as saying the Indonesian boat capsized after being hit from behind by the freighter, which is now being moored in Lamongan town for investigation. The freighter, loaded with tapioca flour, was reportedly heading to Tanjung Perak seaport in East Java’s capital, Surabaya.
All of the victims were from the Indonesian boat, and 12 were rescued and rushed to a hospital for examination.
On Sunday afternoon, rescuers discovered three bodies by the stern of the ship, said the National Search and Rescue Agency, known as BASARNAS.
A search for the missing was underway with the help of the navy, which deployed two warships to join a helicopter from BASARNAS, Loediyono said.
Sea accidents are common in Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, where boats are a popular and relatively cheap form of transportation.