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DAILYNEWS Rescuers were searching for at least 30 people feared missing after a ferry caught fire off the coast of Indonesia's main island of Java.
The vessel was carrying 277 people from Tanjung Perak port in East Java's Surabaya when it caught fire late on Thursday, said Budi Prasetyo, the head of the local search and rescue agency.
About 247 people were rescued by nearby ships and boats, and rescuers were still searching for 30 others thought to be missing, he said.
A port official, Syahrul Nugroho, said the fire broke out about 11 hours after the ferry left Surabaya headed for East Kalimantan province's Balikpapan city. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
Syachrul Nugroho, a spokesman for Surabaya's Tanjung Perak port, told AFP news agency it appeared the ferry's power went down, cutting off water pumps.
"The crew couldn't extinguish the fire because the water pumps weren't working so passengers started to abandon the ship," he added.
Ferry accidents are common in Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, with more than 17,000 islands. Many accidents are blamed on lax regulation of boat services.
The passenger manifest for the ferry that caught fire on Thursday showed that only 111 people were registered as passengers, along with 44 crewmen, Prasetyo said.
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