Death toll in Indonesia Eid boat sinkings rises to 36

Death toll in Indonesia Eid boat sinkings rises to 36
Indonesian Muslim devotees arrive on a boat to attend the morning prayer to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival at the historic Sunda Kelapa port district of Jakarta on July 28, 2014.

JAKARTA - Rescuers pulled 12 more bodies from an Indonesian river Friday, bringing the death toll in two boat sinkings to 36, as millions travel across the country for the Eid holiday season.

Most Indonesians in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation spend Eid, the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, with their families, abandoning cities in the massive exodus.

Local police confirmed 19 people dead from a boat carrying 48 that sank late Wednesday in a river on the island of Sumatra.

"We are still searching for the last missing person. The rest are accounted for," local police chief of operations E. Hutagaol told AFP.

A ferry carrying 70 people on the Indonesian part of Borneo island sank on Tuesday, with authorities Friday revising the final death toll down from 18 to 17. The rest of the passengers and crew survived.

The National Disaster Management Agency said police were questioning the ferry crew as there were reports it might have been operating at overcapacity.

Boat accidents in the vast Indonesian archipelago are not uncommon, and there is a significant death toll from transport accidents during Eid each year.

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