Wooden boat capsizes off Malaysian coast - 66 people missing
Published 18/06/2014 | 10:24
A rescue operation is under way after a wooden boat carrying 97 Indonesian migrants capsized and sank after leaving Malaysia's west coast, with 66 people still missing.
The boat sank shortly after midnight about two nautical miles from shore on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur while trying to leave Malaysia illegally, Malaysia's maritime agency said.
An agency official said the Indonesians, including women and children, were believed to be heading home ahead of the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Thirty-one people had been rescued so far, the official said. A ship and several boats were searching for survivors and a helicopter was being dispatched.
No reason was immediately given for the accident.
Tens of thousands of Indonesians work illegally in plantations and other industries in Malaysia, sometimes risking dangerous boat journeys to return home.