Search and rescue personnel in Indonesia look for victims of the boat incident at Lake Toba (Photo: EPA/VNA)

 

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian National Police said that they will investigate a possible criminal offence in a boat incident that left many people missing at Lake Toba in North Sumatra on June 18, according to The Tempo newspaper.

Public relations officer of Indonesian police Yusri said the case is under investigation and there will be an official announcement once all the victims are found. The police are focusing on the rescue mission, with 350 personnel mobilised to assist the search and rescue efforts.

Reports from relatives suggest that the number of passengers missing is 178, much higher than the initial estimate of 80 to 100 passengers.

On June 18, the large-size passenger boat KIM Sinar Bangun capsized at Lake Toba. Police reported that so far, 18 survivors and one dead victim from the boat have been confirmed. It is highly likely the incident was caused by high tides due to strong winds that occurred on the day. however, the police are yet to release official conclusion on the cause of the sinking.

Local officials said 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, the largest volcanic lake in the world, is a popular spot for local and international tourists.-VNA