independent.ie– Search and rescue teams are looking for one person still missing after hundreds were rescued from a passenger ferry that caught fire in Indonesia’s Molucca Sea, local officials said last night.
Passenger ferry KM Karya Indah was travelling in a remote part of the Indonesian archipelago, from Ternate in the province of North Maluku towards the island of Sulabes, when a huge fire broke out on Saturday morning.
Dramatic footage from Indonesia’s search and rescue agency showed the vessel engulfed in smoke and part of the ship ablaze as passengers in life vests jumped from the deck to lifeboats.
Search and rescue officials said 274 people had been rescued from the vessel without injury and taken to a nearby village, while one person was still on the missing list.
“The search is still continuing. Today’s search and rescue plan (will be conducted) by a joint search and rescue team,” said operation head Muhamad Arafah.
The rescue operation on Saturday also involved several local fishing boats that happened to be in the vicinity.
Initial reports suggest the fire may have started in the engine room.
Indonesian officials said they are investigating the cause of the incident.
Ferry accidents are common in Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands. Many accidents are blamed on the lax regulation of boat services.