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Four dead, 33 missing missing in fire incident

In Indonesia, at least four people died and three dozen people are missing from the carcass of a ferry that went up in flames off country’s Java island.

The boat was en route from Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya to Balikpapan on Borneo island with some 277 people aboard when it caught fire last evening. The port official said the cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

Passenger ferries are a common means of transport in Indonesia, an archipelago of some 17,000 islands, despite poor safety standards.

In June, 21 people died when an overloaded ferry sank in rough seas off Java’s north coast.  Some 160 people drowned when an Indonesian ferry sank into the depths of one of the world’s deepest lakes on Sumatra island last year. And more than 300 people are estimated to have drowned in 2009 when a ferry sank between Sulawesi and Borneo.

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