KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An overloaded ferry capsized after hitting rocks in a remote river in Malaysia's part of tropical Borneo island on Tuesday, leaving an unknown number of people missing, police said. Some survivors swam ashore, and a search was underway.
The vessel was believed to be carrying much more than its recommended limit of 74 passengers, said Bakar Sibau, a district police chief in Malaysia's Sarawak state.
Bakar said there appeared to be dozens of survivors, but he did not have exact numbers. Some people swam ashore, and police divers, fire department officers and villagers were searching for the missing passengers.
"We hope they will be OK," Bakar said of the missing.
The boat was packed because many people are heading to their home villages for a harvest festival holiday that Borneo's indigenous tribes will celebrate later this week, Bakar said.
Rom Kulleh, a political aide who flew in a helicopter over the river shortly after the accident, said he and his state legislator boss saw the overturned boat.
"We spotted some people being saved by villagers in smaller boats," Rom told the AP.
The accident occurred midway through a 130-kilometer (80-mile) journey that usually takes about three hours.
Rivers form the main transportation network for hundreds of thousands of people in sprawling Sarawak. Public concerns about safety, including the enforcement of rules for ferry capacity, have occasionally emerged, but major boat accidents in Sarawak are rare.
Borneo island is divided among three countries: Indonesian territory in the south, two Malaysian states in the north and tiny Brunei on the north coast.
Four people are nursing bumps and bruises after the second story deck they were sitting on collapsed during a Memorial Day gathering.
It happened about 1:30 Monday afternoon at a condominium on Sandlewood Creek Court in Wildwood. Officials say there were problems with the strength of the balcony.
Metro West Fire responded to the incident. Fire Captain Jeff Haefer says his Fire Marshall and others are working with various property owners to prevent future accidents. "There is a collaborative effort between our fire bureau and the property owners," Haefer said. It's "to determine safety issues and point out those things to prevent this from happening again."
Chief Haefer says its fortunate that no one was seriously injured in the incident Monday.
Four adults, two of them coaches with a girls basketball team from St. Louis, are in critical condition after an accident involving the team's van.
The crash happened Saturday about 20 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee. The minivan carrying the St. Louis Lady Monarchs was clipped by another vehicle and then crossed the center line and struck a car.
Seven 16 year old girls were injured. Two small children, ages 1 and 2, were also injured. All off the children were treated and released from a local hospital.
The two coaches and two adults in the oncoming car are hospitalized in critical condition. Police say none of the injured was wearing a seat belt.
The team had been in Tennessee for a basketball tournament.