JAKARTA, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Overloading incurred a boat sank in waters off East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, on Friday, killing 7 people, including 3 children, and left several others missing, official said.
The accident took place at 11:10 a.m. local time when dozens of people on board was performing a religious ritual called "the Great Friday" in a narrow strait of Ujung Aro Larantuka of Florest Timur district, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster agency told Xinhua by phone.
"According to data, 7 people are dead, 29 are being treated at Flores General Hospital, and 17 others have returned home," said Sutopo.
Sutopo said that the number of missing people remains unclear, some said that it was four people but another source disclosed 7 people, as there has not been a clear manifest of the number of the people on board.
"The sinking of the boat was triggered by overloading amid strong currents," he said.
Others boats performing the religious ritual immediately helped rescue the passengers who jumped to the water, said Sutopo.
Searching for the missing passengers is underway, involving rescuers from local search and rescue office, soldiers and police as well as local community, he said.
Sea accident has been frequent in the vast archipelago country as the safety standard has often been ignored.