Seven pilgrims participating in a traditional sea procession on Good Friday were drowned and four others remain missing after a boat sank in Indonesia, reports Ucanews.
'The dead include three children and four adults,' Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson of the National Disaster Management Agency (BPBN), said in a statement on Friday.
Nugroho said overcrowding on the boat and rough seas contributed to the sinking, off the Sempit Ujung Aro Strait in Larantuka, East Flores district, in East Nusa Tenggara province.
'Passengers screamed when the boat began to sink. They jumped into the rough sea,' he said.
Paulus Igo Groda, head of the district’s Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), said that in addition to those who perished, 69 other pilgrims were injured or remain missing.
'Thirty-three people are now hospitalised, and 23 people have gone back to their homes after being treated in the hospital,' he said, adding that two people returned directly to their homes after the incident while four others are still missing.
The sea procession is part of a 500-year-old tradition of Semana Santa (Holy Week), during which the procession carries the Tuan Menino, or infant Jesus statue.
Photo: Boats overloaded with Christian pilgrims participate in a sea procession before the disaster on Good Friday
FULL STORY Boat capsizes during Indonesian Holy Week procession (Ucanews)