Indonesia: number of missing victims in ferry sinking climbs to 180 hinh anh 1Search and rescue personnel are exerting efforts to search for missing victims (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian police on June 20 revealed that around 180 people are missing after an overloaded ferry sank on popular Lake Toba two days ago, nearly three times higher than initial estimates.

The wooden vessel, overcrowded with passengers as well as dozens of motorbikes, didn’t have a manifest.

To date, three have been confirmed dead and 18 rescued.

About 400 rescue personnel, including military and police officers, were deployed in the search.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency predicted that the work may last at least one week.

Spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency of Indonesia Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that the KM Sinar Bangun boat sank at about 5:30 pm on June 18 when it was sailing from Samosir, a volcanic island in the middle of Lake Toba, to Parapat town.

Local officials said that the ferry is designed to carry a maximum of 60 passengers. Most of the passengers were holidaymakers enjoying the country's 12-day-long Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The 3,000-square-kilometre lake, which is the largest volcanic lake in the world, is a popular spot for local and international tourists.-VNA