Dozens of illegal immigrants dead after boat capsized

They have taken care of their dead family members."
Cianjur, West Java  (ANTARA News) - Dozens of illegal immigrants from Lebanon, Pakistan and Iraq have been reported drowned after their boat capsized in the Agrabinta waters in South Cianjur, West Java, on Friday.

According to sources, 80 illegal immigrants were aboard the boat that capsized as it headed to Christmas Island, while 25 have been saved and are being housed at Cikole in the village of Sinarlaut in the sub-district of Agrabinta.

The sub-district`s spokesman, Haris Bahtiar, said based on information he received from witnesses, the boat capsized after being struck by waves.

"To save themselves, the survivors swam to the Agrabinta coast, about 200 meters from where the boat capsized. They have taken care of their dead family members. Meanwhile, others are believe to still be in the waters," he said.

He added that the dead included four children, while two children and two women were saved.

"The children who were saved have been taken to a local health care center," he said.

Local authorities, along with villagers, still continue searching for survivors.

He said he did not know where the boat departed from.

Meanwhile, Asep Suhara, the head of the regional disaster service, said he had sent 12 members to help with the evacuation.

"According to information, there are 80 victims. We are still collecting the data," he said.

Cianjur police chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Dedy Kusuma Bakti, meanwhile, said officials suspected the boat left from a western port.

"Agraginta has no port, so it was impossible for them to depart from there. The boat capsized on the border between Agrabinta and Tegalbuled, or within the jurisdiction of Cianjur district," he noted.

(Reporting by Ahmad Fikri/H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/S012)

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