Jordanian among survivors of Australia-bound boat accident

28-09-2013 10:13 AM

Ammon News - by The Jordan Times

AMMAN – The Foreign Ministry on Saturday said that a Jordanian national was among the survivors of the boat carrying asylum seekers that sank off the coast of Indonesia's main island of Java on Friday.

A ministry official was quoted by the Jordan News Agency, Petra as saying that the Jordanian Embassy in Jakarta is following up on the accident to find if there were more Jordanians on board of the boat.

According to Indonesian police, the Australia-bound boat was carrying around 100 asylum-seekers from Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen before it sank off Java.

Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that the Lebanese foreign ministry said Saturday at least 29 Lebanese asylum-seekers were missing.

Indonesian police have said 28 people were plucked from the water but around 70 –– including many children –– are still unaccounted for, according to AFP.

"There were 68 Lebanese on board," Haytham Jomaa, who is in charge of immigration affairs at the Lebanese foreign ministry, told AFP.

He said 18 of the Lebanese survived the ordeal while 21 bodies were retrieved from the sea.

Lebanese mother Nazime Bakour, 32, spoke of the tragedy to AFP after she was rescued by fishermen along with her son. She lost her husband and two other children, a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old.

Bakour, speaking in broken English, said the boat was struck by a massive wave and broke into pieces.

"I have to swim. My husband swim very well, but the boat break and hit his head," she said, adding that she saw her surviving son in the water and managed to grab him.

Thousands of asylum-seekers have travelled by boat to Australia this year, and scores have died trying to make the journey in unseaworthy vessels over the years.

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