Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. At least 14 people were killed after fire broke out and burned a ferry in the Timor Sea, East Nusa Tenggara, officials said on Tuesday.
During the Monday’s incident, the Cantika Express ferry was sailing from the provincial capital Kupang to Alor Island carrying more than 250 passengers and crew members.
“The death toll in the ferry fire is 14 according to the latest information we have received so far,” I Putu Sudayana, the head of East Nusa Tenggara’s search and rescue department, told reporters in Kupang.
According to the provincial transportation department, the ferry manifest listed 167 passengers and 10 crew members but the actual number of people on the ferry was 254 during the trip.
“It means that 77 people are not on the manifest,” transportation department head Isyak Nuka said.
"We aren’t able to identify the victims yet but we get the death toll from the joint search and rescue team,” he said.
Local authorities opened information center at Tanau Port in Kupang for families of passengers, Isyak said, adding the Cantika Express ferry has a capacity of 300 passengers.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT).