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Portuguese escape Bali ferry explosion that killed three and injured 13

Two Portuguese escaped unharmed from the ferry boat explosion that killed three and injured at least 13 between the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok this Thursday morning (September 15).

Though reports from Indonesia originally said there were Portuguese among the injured, a source from the office of Portugal’s Secretary of State of Communities has told newspapers the two nationals escaped without injuries and have already returned to Bali.

Meantime, international media is releasing different death tolls, with some claiming two people have died and others three.

According to the UK’s Mirror, “an Indonesian and a Dutch national were killed and dozens more suffered horrific injuries”.

“Authorities later confirmed that a German woman is among the dead,” it reports.

The Gili Cat 2 fast boat was carrying 35 tourists when it apparently burst into flames.

“The explosion happened five minutes after the boat departed,” local police chief Sugeng Sudarso told AFP news agency, adding the vessel had been about 200m from the port.

He said authorities were investigating and police and the bomb squad had been deployed, although he later appeared to rule out a bomb as the cause.

“Based on the testimony [from passengers] and from what I saw on the scene, the explosion came from the fuel tank,” he said. “Above it was a battery, maybe there was a short circuit that affected the fuel tank.”

The UK’s Guardian has added that “Indonesia has a poor maritime safety record and there have been similar incidents in the past where no foul play was detected”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com