KOMPAS.com - A tourist boat in the Kedung Ombo Reservoir in Boyolali regency, Central Java has capsized during an outing on Saturday, May 15. The disaster killed at least six people, and left at least three others missing.
"The boat, which was owned by a local tour operator named Kardiyo and helmed by his associate Galih, was carrying 20 passengers when it flipped over and went under water," said Central Java Basarnas [National Search and Rescue Agency] branch head Nur Yahya.
"The vessel was heading to a floating restaurant in the center of the reservoir. We suspected that the boat capsized, after some passengers attempted to take a selfie on the ship's bow as it approached the restaurant." A survivor named Tinuk confirmed Yahya's statement.
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"The bow of the ship was top heavy with the passengers' weight as they tried to take the selfie. The boat gradually took on water, then capsized," she said, as quoted by Kompas.com's affiliate TribunSolo.
Accounting for the victims
"We have brought the deceased to the hospital," said Bambang Sinugharjo, the head of the Central Java Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency [BPBD] in Boyolali to Kompas.com. "We are currently carrying out an autopsy on them to determine their cause of death."
Official backlash occurred promptly in the wake of the tragedy.
"Central Java Regional Police chief Inspector General Ahmad Luthfi has ordered the Kedung Ombo tourist sight closed because its management failed to apply proper safety standards and health protocols," said Regional Police spokesman Police Grand Commissioner Iskandar.
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"[Kedung Ombo reservoir] also violated the limits on visitor numbers. Their negligence brought this disaster about."
Joint SAR teams from Basarnas, the military and police, as well as other elements are continuing their search for three people who remain missing in the wake of the disaster. 11 people survived the capsizing of the boat.
(Editors: Robertus Belarminus, Reza Kurnia Darmawan)
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