30 missing after ship sinks in eastern Indonesia

AP News
Posted: Oct 22, 2010 10:22 AM
30 missing after ship sinks in eastern Indonesia

A small passenger ship sank Friday in eastern Indonesia, leaving about 30 people missing, officials said.

The ship, Karya Pinang, was reportedly carrying 50 people when it sank off the cape of Watumanuk on Flores island, said Col. Hadiwibowo, chief of the local navy.

According to initial reports, 20 people were rescued, said Hadiwibowo, who uses only one name.

"A rescue team has been sent to the location, but we have not yet received reports on the exact number of victims," he said.

Willy Tal, an official at the Port Authority in Maumere, the largest town on Flores, said the ship was traveling from Palue, a small island off the island's northern coast, to Maumere.

The cause of the accident was still not clear, but the ship was sailing in heavy waves against a strong current, Tal said.

Ships are a main source of transportation in Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands.