33 bodies found in Indonesian boat sinking

Updated: 2013-09-30 14:27


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JAKARTA - Rescuers have found 33 dead bodies and keep searching for dozens of others feared missing after the sinking of an Australian-bound asylum seeker boat off West Java island, Indonesia, on Friday, local rescuer said Monday.

As many as 28 people have been rescued safely by the rescuers, said Maman Padmono, rescuer in charge at West Java Search and Rescue Office.

But he could not confirm the number of missing people. According to information from a local military command, the number of missing people reached 59 among a total of 120 passengers from the Middle East.

"The search and rescue is underway now to find scores other missing people,"he told Xinhua by phone from West Java.

Rescue officials, police and military have searched waters along Cianjur coast to find the missing ones, said Maman.  

Indonesia has been a favorite transit-point for those from the Middle East or other countries willing to seek asylum in Australia.

The asylum seekers have often risked their lives by making a long journey passing Ocean by boat, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people.