Indonesia: boat sinking leaves 58 missing, say officials


Rescuers check the wreckage of a people smuggler's boat seen half submerged after being towed near the coast of Puger village in East Java province on Dec. 21, 2011. Indonesian police arrested eight people December 22 in connection with an overloaded boat carrying 250 asylum seekers that capsized en route to Australia, as the confirmed death toll reached 90.



Rescue officials today said at least 58 people remain unaccounted for after a boat capsized in Indonesia on Sunday, a dramatic increase from the 14 they originally said were missing, reported The Associated Press.

Local rescue official Dony Haryanto told AP the new figure was based on information gathered from relatives of passengers and crew. 

More from GlobalPost: Why Indonesia's kids are crazy for punk (VIDEO)

The Putri Ayu boat on Saturday departed Ambon city, which is on the country's Maluku island, and was headed toward Buru island when it was hit by a 10-foot wave and sank, according to AP.

Radio Australia said a total of 70 people were on board, 12 of whom have been rescued so far. 

AP said the ship was only allowed to carry 40 people.  

Boats are the chief method of transport in the world's largest archipelago nation, which has over 17,000 islands, said AP. Accidents are common due to the lack of safety enforcement and poor ship maintenance.

In .

Tagged: Indonesia.