50 passengers saved after boat caught on fire

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Fifty passengers had been saved after their boat caught on fire in Busung islands waters in the district of Indragiri Hilir in Sumatras province of Riau on Saturday.

"The incident happened on Saturday and it was the first sea accident in the Idul Fitri travel season this year," Riaus police command spokesman Adjuct Senior Commissioner Guntur Aryo Tejo said in an electronic mail received here on Sunday.

He said based on reports from members the incident happened when the engine of the boat with 50 passengers on board was caught on fire.

"It happened at around 6.30pm. The boat was en route from Telaga Punggur, Batam, to Indragiri Hilir in Riau and when it reached Pulau Busung it caught fire," he said.

"The passengers were evacuated onto the boat belonging to the marine police and then taken to Tembilahan Kota in Indragiri Hilir," he said.

He said investigation was still being carried out to find out the cause of the fire while its crew and owner were also still being questioned in connection with the incident.

Since the implementation of "Ketupat Operation" to assure traffic safety seven days ago traffic condition is still alright.

"Twenty four traffic accidents have been recorded to happen in the past week in the region leaving 14 people dead, 20 seriously injured and 20 other lightly wounded," he said.

reporting by fazar muhardi