An Indonesian ferry carrying 250 passengers capsized and sank after being battered by a large wave in storms in the country's east.
An Indonesian ferry carrying 250 passengers capsized and sank after being battered by a large wave in storms in the country's east today, officials said, adding bad weather and nightfall made rescue efforts difficult.
Rustam Pakaya, head of the health ministry's crisis centre, said six deaths had been confirmed in the accident, which occurred early this morning.
Eighteen people including one of the crew had been rescued, said Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Transport Ministry.
"We still don't know the fate of the missing people, whether they had lifejackets on when the ship was hit, and it happened at dawn so most people were probably asleep," Ervan said.
"Based on interviews with the surviving crew member, the ship was hit by a huge wave which caused it to turn upside down."
Ervan said a search and rescue team had been dispatched to look for the missing passengers.
Transport Minister Jusman Syafi'i Djamal said 150 people had been taken off the ferry, but their condition was unknown and he gave no further details. The discrepancy in the number of possible survivors could not immediately be clarified.