20 dead in Indonesia boat capsize, 39 rescued
At least 20 people aboard a boat died when it capsized due to stormy weather on Wednesday, police said.
The boat, carrying 90 workers, was on its way back from Malaysia, when it capsized off the island of Batam around 5 am, the island's police chief Sambudi Gusdian said.
A total of 39 people have been rescued in a search operation, which went on for hours. Haryanto, a 51-year-old survivor, said the speedboat capsized amid heavy rains and high waves about two hours after it left Johor Bahru in Malaysia. He said the boat was crowded with standing room only.
A police helicopter and over a dozen boats are involved in rescue efforts. Speedboats and ferries are a common form of transport in Indonesia.
Sinkings are common due to poorly enforced safety regulations. One of the worst ferry sinkings in recent years occurred off Sulawesi in 2009, killing more than 330 people.
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