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More Than 350 Drown in Indonesia

October 22, 2001

GENEVA (AP) _ More than 350 people _ most of them Iraqis _ drowned when their boat sank off the coast of Indonesia, the International Organization for Migration said Monday.

The organization said it was looking after 44 survivors who were rescued from the sea on Saturday, a day after the boat went down.

There had been 400 people aboard the vessel, International Organization for Migration spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said.

According to survivors who were interviewed by workers for the non-governmental agency, the ship left the island of Java on Thursday with 421 people on board, Chauzy said.

Later that day, 21 passengers asked to get off the boat and were put ashore on an island in the Java Sea.

Early Friday, the captain announced that the engine had stopped and the ship was taking on water.

``The boat sank in 10 minutes,″ said Chauzy.

He said the 44 survivors were being cared for in the town of Bogor in Java. They included an 8-year-old boy who lost 21 relatives.

Update hourly