Fire guts passenger ship, three killed, over 100 injured

Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - A passenger ship, the MV Marine Nusantara, was gutted by a fire that killed three people, injured 26 others seriously and 87 lightly shortly after colliding with a tugboat in the Barito river on Monday.

The three fatalities` identities were Abdul Karim (53) of Banjarmasin, Buyah (43) of Banjarmasin, and Nurhasanah (42) of Lumajang, East Java Province, a nurse at Soeharsono hospital said here on Monday.

The ship with 443 people on board was sailing from Surabaya (East Java) to Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan Province, when it caught fire at 7.30 local time.

The passengers consisted of 394 adults, 23 children, and 22 babies.

The fire broke out after the ship collided with coal tugboat Pualuat Tiga 330/22 off Kadap Isle in the Barito River.

"If I am not mistaken, half an hour after the collision with the tugboat, a blaze broke out in the ship`s hold," Arbainsyah, a passenger, said.

Efforts to extinguish the fire are still going on.

The ship also carried 42 motorcycles, 48 cars and one heavy-duty vehicle. (*)