The accident happened as the boat, carrying numerous illegal Indonesian workers, was heading for Indonesia’s island of Batam, having departed from Malaysia’s southern state of Johor.
The boat, with 98 workers and three crew on board, struck a reef in strong winds and big waves. Eighteen people were #killed and 39 were pulled from the waters alive.
A 280-strong team resumed the evacuation effort early on Thursday, after the search for the other 44 was halted the previous evening, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Indonesian national disaster mitigation agency.
Police were looking for the captain of the ship, who had fled, and the fate of the third crew member was unknown, said Airlangga, a #police spokesman for the Riau Islands, which include Batam.
“The crew is being detained and we are chasing the captain as well, because they are responsible for this incident,” Airlangga, who goes by one name, like many Indonesians, said by telephone.
“They violated the shipping law, and they were also transporting people illegally.”
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