Jakarta: Rescuers have recovered three bodies and are searching for 176 people who remain missing after a passenger boat sank in Lake Toba on Indonesia’s Sumatra island two days ago, officials said on Wednesday.
Kapal Motor Sinar Bangun boat sank at 5.30 p.m. on Monday after departing Simanindo port in Samosir district and was 1.61 km away from its destination of Tigaras Parapat of Simalungun district.
“Three women were dead and 18 others have been rescued safely,” Director General for land transport of the Transport Ministry Budi Setiyadi told Xinhua news agency.
Police spokesman Yusri Yunus revealed that the rising number of the missing, from 94 on Tuesday to 176 on Wednesday, came following reports of the missing persons’ families.
Ships and boats with dozens of personnel were deployed to the scene and its surrounding waters to search and rescue the victims, the spokesman said.
“Dive has been undertaken into the depth of 25 metres, still no victims are recovered,” he said.
Underwater robotic vehicles were also dispatched to detect the position of the wreckage of the boat and discover the victims.
Last week, 16 people died when another boat sank near the southern coast of Celebes island in the central region of the archipelago.