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Archive for Monday, January 12, 2009

Storm sinks ferry, 250 feared dead

January 12, 2009

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— Huge waves and driving rain hindered rescuers today as they searched for about 250 people missing and feared dead after a ferry packed with passengers and cargo capsized in a cyclone off Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.

Many passengers were sleeping when the 700-ton Teratai Prima was struck by tropical cyclone Charlotte before dawn Sunday while traveling from the western port of Parepare to Samarinda on the Indonesian half of Borneo island, officials and witnesses said. It sank about 30 miles off the coast of western Sulawesi.

The captain — who survived — was being investigated for allegedly ignoring warnings from the Indonesian weather agency that conditions on the crossing were too dangerous.

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