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Friday, June 23, 2006

40 missing in ferry accident off Sumatra

Reported here:
Nearly 40 passengers were still missing after a ferry sunk in rough waters off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, officials said Friday.

Most of the over 130 passengers and crew on board the Surya Makmur Indah ferry when it sunk off the coast of North Sumatra Thursday were rescued, but dozens of others were still missing.

"Up to now, there are 94 passengers that have been evacuated from the accident," Navy commander Lieutenant Colonel Djaka Santosa told the online news agency Detik.com, adding that 39 passengers listed on the boat's manifest were still missing.

Rescue workers have said the number missing could be even higher, with passengers, including children, often boarding Indonesia's ferries without being on the official list.

Three Americans and two Australians were also reported among the missing, the state-run news agency Antara said.

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