Jakarta. Deddy Junaedi, the harbormaster of North Jakarta’s Muara Angke Port, has been removed from his post after a deadly fire on board the Zahro Express tourist boat killed 23 people on New Year's Day.
Transportation Ministry’s director general of sea transportation Tonny Budiono confirmed Deddy’s sacking to state-run Antara news agency on Monday (02/01).
He said the harbormaster was guilty of "administrative neglect" by failing to update Zahro Express’ passenger manifest.
"The official manifest said the boat was carrying 100 people, but reports said there were more than 100 passengers on board the Zahro Express. A witness said there were 184 passengers and another one said there were 250," Tonny said in Jakarta.
He added the harbormaster also failed to appear at the Muara Angke Port after the boat caught fire on Sunday morning.
A new harbormaster will be sworn in on Tuesday, Tonny said.
The Zahro Express tourist boat caught fire at 9.20 a.m. on Sunday after departing from the Muara Angke Port for popular tourist destination Tidung Island in Jakarta's Pulau Seribu district, off the north coast of the capital.
The traditional wooden boat's official capacity is said to be up to 285 including the boat crew.
According to National Disaster Mitigation Agency BNPB, 23 people had died and 17 others were injured in the fire. At least 17 people are still missing and 194 have been rescued.
The National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) said it will take them three months to investigate the cause of the accident.