Passenger ship catches fire in western Indonesia

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A ship with about 109 people on board caught fire in the waters off western Indonesia on Monday afternoon, but all the passengers and crew members were rescued safely, an official said.

The ship, Gunsa 8, caught fire when it was sailing in the Bangka Strait. The fire came from the engine of the ship, said Aswind Abu Nawar, head of the emergency unit of the disaster management agency in Kepulauan Bangka Belitung province.

The ship departed from a seaport in the province and was heading for a sea port in South Sumatra province, according to the official.

"All of the 90 passengers and 19 crew members were rescued by another passenger ship which was passing by at that time. Six of the people on board were children," he told Xinhua via phone.

"The fire was extinguished by a tugboat which was equipped with tools for stopping fires at sea," said Aswind.

All the passengers were transported to the seaport in Kepulauan Bangka Beitung, he said.

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