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Second Boat Crashes Off Malaysia Coast; 35 Missing

  • VOA News

FILE - A man and his son are seen at a jetty during a search and rescue in Kuala Langat outside Kuala Lumpur, off Malaysia's western coast, June 18, 2014.
A second boat in as many days has sunk off the western coast of Malaysia, leaving authorities scrambling to find 35 Indonesians who were trying to travel home for Ramadan.

Sepang, Malaysia
Sepang, Malaysia
Malaysian maritime officials say nine people are missing after a boat believed to be bound for the Indonesian island of Sumatra sank early Thursday near Sepang town, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

About 24 hours earlier, an overcrowded, wooden boat carrying 97 people capsized in the Strait of Malacca while en route to Indonesia's Aceh province. At least nine bodies have been recovered and at least 26 are still missing. Several dozen vessels and a helicopter are involved in that search.

The passengers were Indonesians working in Malaysia who were headed home for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins at the end of June.

Malaysia, which is relatively prosperous, attracts workers from surrounding countries that are poorer, including Indonesia, Burma and Bangladesh. Many of the workers are undocumented, and travel to and from Malaysia on rickety boats that sometimes crash