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Nearly 180 Passengers Still Missing in Indonesia Ferry Sinking


Body bags containing the bodies of the victims of a ferry that sank off Sulawesi Island last Saturday are laid on the deck of a rescue ship in the Gulf of Bone, Indonesia, Dec. 24, 2015.

As many as 180 people are still missing after a ferry sank in at a popular lake on Indonesia's Sumatra island earlier this week.

Authorities have deployed divers and an underwater drone to search the 1,145-square kilometer Lake Toba for the sunken vessel, which was overloaded with passengers and dozens of motorcycles when it capsized Monday evening. Lake Toba, which fills the crater of a giant volcano that erupted tens of thousands of years ago, is a popular and picturesque destination for tourists.

Eighteen passengers were rescued hours after the accident, but further rescue efforts were hampered by high winds and rough waters. Authorities believe many of the victims are still inside the ferry.

Three bodies have been pulled out of Lake Toba since the sinking.

Ferry sinkings are a common tragedy in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, due to weak enforcement of safety regulations.

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