At least 2 dead, 7 missing in boat capsizing in Indonesia

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KUPANG, Indonesia (AP) — An overloaded fishing boat carrying 28 people capsized in eastern Indonesia, killing at least two children and leaving seven other people missing, an official said Monday.

Boat crews on nearby vessels recovered the bodies of two children and have rescued 19 people from choppy waters, said Emi Frizer, a local Search and Rescue Agency official. Rescuers were searching for the seven others reported as still missing Monday.

The Kasih-25 sank on Sunday about one hour after it left Tablolong beach in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara province, on a four-hour voyage to Rote island, Frizer said.

The wooden boat was carrying 16 passengers and 12 fishermen when it capsized in Pukuafu Strait after being hit by a 2-meter (6.5-foot) wave and strong wind, Frizer said.

He said it was designed for fishing for just 15 people but the boat captain had carried passengers without permission from the head of the local port.

Television footage showed rescuers helping a passenger wearing a life vest onto a rescue boat, while other officers took two black body bags from another ship on a port.

Boats and ferries are a common means of transportation in Indonesia, an archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands. Accidents caused by overcrowding and poor safety standards are common.