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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NYT; Indonesia: Crew Abandoned Passengers, Survivors Say

Published: December 20, 2011

The crew and captain of an Indonesian boat packed with illegal immigrants grabbed life vests and swam away as it sank in a heavy storm, leaving more than 200 passengers missing, Australian news media reported on Monday. Surviving asylum seekers said passengers on the boat, which was heading for Australia, were left to drown as it broke apart in stormy seas about 55 miles off the coast of Java, Indonesia. “The captain and six crew took the life vests and started swimming away,” a Pakistani survivor, Saed Mohammad Zia, 18, told The Daily Telegraph of Sydney. Indonesian officials said 34 people were dead and 217 missing. An official of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said that survivors were moved to an immigration office and that he did not know whether they would be deported.

New York Times

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