KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia has recovered the bodies of 18 people who died after a boat carrying suspected undocumented migrants capsized in bad weather, maritime authorities said on Thursday, December 16
Fourteen people survived, while 18 others remain missing, as search and rescue operations continued for a second day, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said in a statement.
Of the 18 dead, 11 were found on Wednesday. All those aboard the boat were from Indonesia.
Wednesday’s accident was the latest in a string of disasters recorded in the waterways between Indonesia and Malaysia in recent years, often involving overloaded boats ferrying laborers seeking work in Malaysian factories and plantations.
According to rights group Migrant CARE, between 100,000 and 200,000 Indonesians travel illegally to Malaysia each year for work, many of them recruited by trafficking gangs.
Identification documents recovered showed that most of the people onboard the capsized boat were from the Indonesian island of Lombok, the country’s Migrant Workers Protection Agency said in a statement.
Of the survivors, one woman was in critical condition due to dehydration and has been hospitalized, the agency said, adding that an investigation into the accident was underway. – Rappler.com