Two Indonesians held over boat’s sinking

A boat capsized some two nautical miles near Sungai Air Hitam. The distress call was received by the Banting Fire and Rescue department at about 12.24am on Wednesday and a search and rescue team (SAR) was despatched to the scene 30 minutes later.

PETALING JAYA -Two Indonesian nationals have been detained over the boat, which sank off Sungai Air Hitam, Banting, with 97 passengers on board.

The men, aged 44 and 54, were detained at about 3am yesterday, following a raid on a premise in Port Klang.

Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Adnan Abdullah said the two men, aged 44 and 54, were believed to be the boat's shipping agent and tekong darat (ground coordinator).

"We seized their mobile phones to help with investigations. They have been remanded until June 26," he said, adding that the two had valid identification and travel documents.

In Kuala Langat 63 passengers were saved - 50 men, 12 women and a five-year-old girl - while 14 bodies had been recovered so far.

South Selangor Zone Fire and Rescue department chief Azmi Saddon said dogs from the K-9 unit had been deployed to search for victims in the Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts for the boat that capsized off Sungai Air Hitam. Pulau Carey here on Wednesday.

"The dogs have been deployed to search the shoreline area.

"The search now focused along a 25 nautical miles stretch along the shoreline and 15 nautical miles into the sea," he said.

Azmi, who is also the SAR efforts commander, said a total of 260 personnel from various agencies including police, Fire and Rescue, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, Civil Defence Department and the Royal Malaysia Navy were involved in the search for the missing people.

In Sepang, seven people are still missing after a boat carrying 27 passengers sank in the Sepang waters within hours after the Sungai Air Hitam tragedy.

Klang Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) operations director Lt-Kdr Mohd Hambali Yaakub said 20 people have been rescued and that seven were still unaccounted for.

"Those rescued were sent to the Sungau Buloh Hospital, Banting Hospital and the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital for treatment.

He said search operations yesterday expanded its area to 10 nautical miles from the Kampung Ayer Hitam and Pantai Morib shores, where both boats were believed to have departed from.