Kendari, South East Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Search and rescue teams in Southeast Sulawesi evacuated 98 passengers of a boat that capsized in Lambasina waters in Kolaka at 03.00 hours on Saturday.

Five of the passengers were found dead while 93 others were saved, the chief of the Search and Rescue Agency in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, Joni Sitorus, told ANTARA here on Saturday.

The "KMP Windu Karsa" belonging to the Kalla Lines Group was carrying cars, motorcycles and other kinds of cargo besides passengers when it capsized while on its way from Bajoe to Kolaka.

The chief of the local port operator ASDP in Kolaka, Supar Sunyoto, reported earlier that deputy head of North Kolaka district, Hj Suharya and his children might be among the passengers of the ill-fated boat.

"We have not heard reports if the North Kolaka district deputy head was really among the passengers," he said.

The SAR teams are still continuing their search for other victims in the area where the boat had capsized.

Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi meanwhile has asked for reports from the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) regarding developments in the handling of the incident.

Asked about the cause of the incident here on Saturday, the minister said he had not received an official report about it but he believed it was overloading.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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