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JAKARTA - At least 12 people died after a ferry carrying over 139 passengers went down in waters off Bulukumba district of Indonesia"s South Sulawesi province on Tuesday, officials said.
Search and rescue operations are still underway, and some of the passengers were rescued.
Ferry KMP Lestari Maju, heading to Selayar island, sank at 2:30 pm local time (0730 GMT) in the waters of Selayar, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Xinhua in a text message.
Search and rescue is underway, but bad weather hampered rescuers from approaching the scene, head of port operation in Bulukumba district Zainuddin told Xinhua in a text message.
"The sea waters came into the ship because of unfavorable weather condition," director general for sea transports R. Agus Purnomo said.
The vessel was also loaded with 48 units of cars and motorcycles in addition to the passengers, Purnomo told Xinhua, saying that some of the passengers have been rescued.
Taking ferries is a favorite way of transportation in the vast archipelago country, but lack of safety standards often trigger sea incidents.
The accident happened only days after a boat, allegedly overloaded, sank in lake Toba of North Sumatra province, killing at least four people and left nearly 200 others missing.