Search on for Indonesian Ferry Survivors, Skipper Denies Overcrowding

Amid an ongoing search for survivors from the Dumai Express off Indonesia’s Karimun island, the captain of the ferry which sank killing 29 has rejected claims of overcrowding as a possible reason behind the disaster and blamed it on a freak storm.

The search for survivors resumed for a second day off Karimun island – in the Riau archipelago near Singapore. The official toll stands at 29 dead and 245 rescued.

Earlier survivors had blamed the sinking on gross overcrowding of the 147-tonne vessel, built to carry 273 passengers and crew, local police have said more than 400 people, many of them undocumented, could have been on board at the time of the accident.

Captain Johan Napitupulu however rejected the claims and said he was not warned of a massive tropical storm, he was sailing into on Sunday morning.

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