MV Sinar Bangun allegedly carried passengers beyond capacity: minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The MV Sinar Bangun passenger ship that sank in the waters of Lake Toba, North Sumatra Province, on Monday was allegedly carrying passengers beyond its loading capacity, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi remarked here, Wednesday.

During a press conference at the Transportation Ministry Office, the minister explained that the reason behind the ship`s sinking was not known, but there were indications of passenger overload, as the manifest data had yet to be submitted to the Ministry of Transportation.

"I do not say directly that the ill-fated ship was overcrowded with passengers, but it is a possibility, as it is marked by the absence of manifest data and the issuance of a license to sail or SIB," the minister pointed out.

Sumadi explained that MV Sinar Bangun was operating legally since it had received permission from the North Sumatra Transportation Office, but its operation could have become illegal if the related implementing unit did not possess a manifest and SIB.

Furthermore, the transportation minister stated that results of the investigation related to the cause of the accident of MV Sinar Bangun had been submitted to the National Transportation Safety Committee.