Sumenep, East Java. Five people reportedly died when a passenger ship caught fire while sailing near Masalembu Island in the Java Sea, police said.
"One of the five casualties has not yet been identified," Sumenep Police spokesman Adj. Comr. Suwardi said on Saturday (20/05), as quoted by state-run news agency Antara. He added that the rest of the deceased were from Surabaya, Banyuwangi and Malang – in East Java – and from Purwodadi in Central Java.
Fire broke out on board the KM Mutiara Sentosa I at 4.00 p.m. on Friday, while it was underway from Surabaya to Balikpapan in East Kalimantan.
The ship, which belongs to Atosim Lampung Pelayaran, departed from Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya on Thursday night.
The Ministry of Transportation said in a separate statement on Saturday that the rescue mission involved patrol ships, a tugboat, a vessel belonging to the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) and fishing boats.
"The incident on the KM Mutiara Sentosa I shows that safety regulations have not been implemented properly," the Transportation Ministry's director general for sea transportation, Tonny Budiono, said in the statement.
According to the manifest, the ship captained by Eddy Sarwoto reportedly also carried 79 motor vehicles, consisting of 47 large trucks, nine midsized trucks, 21 passenger cars and two motorcycles.
The manifest reportedly also shows that there were 170 people on board, consisting of 36 crewmembers and 134 passengers – two of them children.
However, according to the Sumenep Police there were 193 people on board.