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Jakarta – AFP
At least seven Indonesians died after their overloaded ship sank in the middle of a lake on the island of Java, as tourists gathered on board to take a selfie, according to the Indonesian police on Sunday.
The accident took place on Saturday in the “Boyulali” region, when the twenty passengers suddenly gathered on one side of the ship to take a group photo, according to Java Police Chief Ahmed Lotfi.
Lotfi told reporters that “the accident was caused by overcrowding” on the ship, noting that “the twenty passengers took a selfie on the right side, which led to the ship losing its balance and capsizing.”
The police indicated that seven people were killed in the accident and the relief of 11 others, while two are still missing and searches for them are still ongoing.
The authorities will investigate to determine any possible negligence on the part of the organizers of the cruise, and Lotfi pointed out that a thirteen-year-old boy was driving the ship when the tragedy happened.
Ship accidents are frequent in Indonesia, the large archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of about 17,000 islands, especially due to poor safety rules.
In April, relief teams rushed to rescue 17 fishermen after two ships collided in West Java. The bodies of three fishermen were found, while 13 remained missing when the search operations were halted.
And last January, ten people died after a ship carrying twenty migrant workers to neighboring Malaysia sank off the coast of Sumatra island.
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