Indonesia– Thick haze has been blamed in a speedboat crash in the port of Kualatungkal, in Jambi’s West Tanjung Jabung district, which killed two people on Sunday.
A crew member, identified as 26-year-old Amirduin, and 60-year-old passenger Subaidah were killed in the incident.
Skipper Daenk Manggata, 45, said he was in the process of docking the vessel at 9 a.m. local time, but was unable to see well due to thick haze. He then crashed into a column, causing the vessel to capsize.
Port officials and bystanders saved the [remaining] passengers and the crew, Daenk said during questioning by Kualatungkal Port officials after the incident.
The boat was carrying 18 people from Murasabak in East Tanjungjabung.
Authorities have estimated visibility was just 100 meters due to the haze, which has affected large parts of the country and also neighboring Singapore and Malaysia.
The head of the district’s Water Police unit, First Insp. N. Hutagalung, confirmed the accident on Sunday but did not provide additional information.
Jambi has been shrouded by thick haze for months due to forest fires caused by slash-and-burn practices across Sumatra, causing acute respiratory infections in thousands of residents.
Malaysia and Singapore have shut down schools and workplaces and issued health warnings in their battle against the haze.