Boat Capsizes in Indonesia: 7 Dead, Several Dozen Still Missing

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 01:38 PM

By Michael Mullins

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At least seven people are dead after a boat capsized in Indonesia during a Good Friday processional this week. Several dozen individuals remain missing, according to local reports.

According to a local police spokesman, the boat was designed to hold 30 people, but was carrying upwards of 70 when a high wave hit and caused it to capsize off Eastern Indonesia in the narrow strait of Ujung Aro in East Nusa Tenggara province, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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The vessel was participating in a Good Friday ceremony that involves floating a Virgin Mary statue out to sea as praying passengers follow behind in a processional, The Associated Press reported. Hundreds of people were reportedly watching the fatal accident from the nearby shoreline as it unfolded. The ship had apparently been hit by a six and a half foot wave that caused it to capsize.

"There is no passenger manifest, making it difficult to determine how many people are still missing," Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told reporters soon after the incident, according to The Journal.

Among the seven dead were three small children and a nun, the AP reported.

All of the other 30 to 40 boats that were part of the processional reportedly returned to shore without incident.

The tragic accident comes just days after a ferry off South Korea capsized in the freezing Yellow Sea early Wednesday morning with 459 people on board.

As of Friday morning, some 29 people on the South Korean ferry were confirmed dead while an additional 270 remained missing, CNN reported. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

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