The Transportation Ministry has fired Muara Angke port master Deddy Junaedi after the Zahro Express boat that was leaving the port for Thousand Islands on Sunday exploded, killing 23 passengers.
The port master was dismissed from his job for his “negligence in monitoring safety on the boat,” the ministry’s sea transportation directorate general Tonny Budiono said in a statement on Monday.
“The transportation minister has instructed that the Muara Angke port [master] be dismissed,” Tonny said, adding that Deddy was officially removed from the job on Tuesday.
Authorities are investigating as to how the boat caught fire before exploding after traveling roughly 1.6 kilometers away from the port in North Jakarta. They are also probing allegations that the boat had ignored some safety procedures including that it was allegedly overcapacity.
Besides dismissing the port master, Tonny said the ministry had also sent a warning letter to the owner of the ill-fated boat.
Following the incident, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi instructed that all boats serving passengers in Muara Angke Port be examined and said those found not fulfilling safety and service standards will not be allowed to operate.
Budi has also instructed some ships of state-owned ship operators PT Pelni and ASDP Indonesia Ferry to serve the Muara Angke-Thousand Islands route to avoid similar incidents from taking place.
Zahro Express exploded on Sunday morning with hundreds of passengers on board. Of the passengers, 130 survived and 23 died.