Nine killed in ferry accident in Indonesia (Lead)

Jakarta, Nov 22 (DPA) At least nine people were killed when a ferry carrying at least 242 people sank in bad weather off the Indonesian island of Sumatra Sunday, officials said.

Authorities said an estimated 232 people survived. But search teams using a number of naval and other vessels meanwhile continued to scan the waters for a possible missing persons.

A footage by MetroTV television shown two survivors, wearing life vests were seen floating in the sea in the aftermath of the accident.

The Dumai Express 10 was sailing from Batam near Singapore to the island of Dumai in Riau, Sumatra when it was battered by heavy waves and sank.

Director General of Sea Transportation, Sunaryo, said the toll climbed to nine by early Sunday evening. He added however that he had received reports that two more rescue boats had pickedup victims of the ill-fated ferry.

“The data is still confusing, we are not sure (of the number of victims),” Sunaryo told a press conference, adding that reports from the search and rescue team estimated that 232 people survived.

Sunaryo cited the Karimun mayor as saying earlier that 292 people are reported safe.

A police officer who identified himself only as Edwin, meanwhile, told TVOne television that by sunset, at least 19 people were killed in the accident.