1 dead, dozens missing in Lake Toba boat accident

Relatives of victims of a sunken ferry wait for news at the Tigaras port in Toba lake North Sumatra Wednesday June 20 2018

Relatives of victims of a sunken ferry wait for news at the Tigaras port in Toba lake North Sumatra Wednesday June 20 2018

It released the names of 94 people confirmed as missing but said the figure is expected to rise as information from relatives is compiled.

Authorities were trying to confirm the total number of passengers who had been on board the ferry, but said at least 128 people were missing.

The wooden ferry had a capacity of 60 passengers but may have been carrying 80 people and dozens of motorcycles, said Sri Hardianto, an official at Indonesia's transport ministry.

The 3,000-square-kilometre lake, which is the largest volcanic lake in the world, is a popular spot for local and worldwide tourists.

Budiawan, the head of the search and rescue agency in the nearby city of Medan, said the overcrowded boat was filled with an estimated 150 people and 55 motorbikes.

"The search has started since around 7 this morning".

Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the boat sank in bad weather at about 5:30 p.m. "3 motor boats were deployed for evacuation of victims".

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A woman prays for her son, a passenger on the KM Sinar Bangun ferry which sank yesterday in Lake Toba, in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 19, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

Pictures from the scene show distressed relatives of missing passengers holding each other and crying as they wait for news at Tigaras Port.

"I was desperate, I was scared to death".

Rescue workers are battling rain and high winds to try to reach any remaining survivors from Monday's accident.

Ferry accidents are common in Indonesia, a vast archipelago, especially during the Islamic holiday of Eid when millions of people make the annual journey by land, sea, and air to their hometowns after the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Last week at least 13 people were killed and eight others disappeared after the sinking of a passenger ship eight kilometers off the coast of Makasar, Indonesian province of South Sulawesi.

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