A passenger ferry with 271 people onboard caught fire on Wednesday, November 16, off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.
There were no immediate reports of casualties. Evacuation efforts were ongoing, rescue officials announced.
The Mutiara Timur I ferry was carrying 236 passengers and 35 crew when it caught fire in the Bali Strait, ~1.5 kilometers (~1 mile) from Karangasem beach.
Dozens of navy sailors, rescuers, and local fishermen were trying to evacuate the people to 2 navy ships.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Photos and video released by the National Search & Rescue Agency showed rescuers in inflatable boats evacuating the travelers to a navy ship while black smoke billowed from the burning vessel.
Mutiara Timur I was heading to Lembar port (West Nusa Tenggara province) from East Java’s Ketapang town.
Sea accidents caused by overcrowding/poor safety standards are common in the archipelago nation of 17,000+ islands, where ferries are used for transport. In 2018, an overcrowded ferry with ~200 people sank in a deep volcanic crater lake (North Sumatra province), killing a total of 167 people. In February 1999, an overcrowded passenger ship sank with 332 people onboard. There were only 20 survivors.