This past Wednesday, one Indonesian ferry burst into flame as it transported 271 people just off the coast of Bali. As of writing, rescue efforts are being carried out and the total number of casualties and the casualty numbers are still entirely unknown.
With a crew of 35 carrying 236 passengers, the Mutiara Timur I was entirely aflame roughly one mile from Karangasem beach, as reported by the Associated Press.
“We are still focused on evacuation efforts,” explained Gede Darmada, the head of the search and rescue agency for Bali, to the AP.
Reportedly, a sizeable number of naval ships and local fishing vessels were working together in order to successfully evacuate people to a pair of navy ships in order to save passengers.
A series of videos were shared to social media platforms from people at the scene which highlighted the massive amount of smoke billowing from multiple points throughout the City Line vessel, along with a few people who had been evacuated out on a neighboring boat.
A passenger ferry carrying 271 people caught fire off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali
— ???? Sarwar ???? (@ferozwala) November 16, 2022
The blaze seemed to be heavily focused at the rear of the boat. In another video, passengers were tightly packed into the front of the boat as they waited for rescue.
— KameraOne (@kamera_one) November 16, 2022
Ferry travel is quite common in the country which is made up of well over 17,000 islands. Though quite rare, ferry incidents have led to horrible tragedies in the past.
Back in May, one ferry in Indonesia with a complement of 42 people sank to the bottom of a waterway in the Central Sulawesi province. Then in 2018, 200 more people sank out in the North Sumatra area of Indonesia, resulting in the deaths of 167 of them.
This event also takes place as the leaders of the G20 are currently meeting in Bali, Indonesia. Heads of state for the nations, including President Joe Biden, have joined in the event.
Biden has chosen to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and many other world leaders, in an effort to deal with quite a few international issues such as the ongoing war in Ukraine, climate change, and the controversy surrounding Taiwan.
In the wake of a three-hour meeting on Monday with Xi, Biden claimed that he doesn’t think that China currently has plans to push into Taiwan.
“I made it clear that our policy on Taiwan has not changed at all,” stated Biden to the press. “It’s the same exact position we have always had. I made it clear that I want to see cross-strait issues peacefully resolved so that it never has to come to that. I’m convinced that he understood exactly what I was saying, and I understood what he was saying.”