More than 200 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran who were en route to Australia are missing and feared dead after their overcrowded boat sank off the coast of Indonesia's main island of Java, reports the AP. About 250 people were packed onto a boat designed for fewer than half that number; so far, only 33 people have been saved, including two children.
The boat encountered a powerful storm late yesterday. As it tried to sail through it, many passengers panicked and started pushing each other, causing the boat to rock even more until it ultimately went down. Rescuers, who are battling 13-foot waves and watching the hours tick by, fear there are no more survivors. "They have scoured a 50-mile radius but haven't found anything," said the head of the rescue operations.