Hazara Asylum seekers missing after boat sinks off coast of Indonesia

60 asylum seekers whose boat sunk in route to Australia, with Indonesian authorities still scrambling to launch a co-ordinated rescue effort.

The boat was carrying as many as 72 people when it hit rocks off the coast of West Java.

According to Indonesian search and rescue agency BASARNAS due to lack of information aerial search was not possible. However, Some asylum seekers were rescued by local fishermen.

Survivor Habibullah Hashimi, 29 year old, said that at least five people had drowned but he was unable to pinpoint the location of the sinking.

The boat was reportedly carrying ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan, and had been heading for Christmas Island.

In August last year, BASARNAS was criticised over its response to the sinking of an asylum seeker vessel in the same area.

More than 100 asylum seekers drowned on that occasion and it was later revealed that an aerial search was not launched until six hours after the first distress call.

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