32 missing as boat sinks off Malaysia; 60 survive

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32 missing as boat sinks off Malaysia; 60 survive
A Malaysian search and rescue team carry out a search operation on the outskirts of Banting on June 18, 2014 after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants sank overnight in seas off western Malaysia. Thirty-seven people remained missing on June 18 after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants heading home for Ramadan sank overnight in rough seas off western Malaysia, killing at least two. Officials said 58 people had been rescued or made it to land by themselves after the accident around midnight near Port Klang, Malaysia's largest port. AFP PHOTO/ Manan VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Malaysian search and rescue team carry out a search operation on the outskirts of Banting on June 18, 2014 after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants sank overnight in seas off western Malaysia. Thirty-seven people remained missing on June 18 after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants heading home for Ramadan sank overnight in rough seas off western Malaysia, killing at least two. Officials said 58 people had been rescued or made it to land by themselves after the accident around midnight near Port Klang, Malaysia's largest port. AFP PHOTO/ Manan VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Malaysian search and rescue team disembark from a boat after returning from a rescue mission on the outskirts of Banting on June 18, 2014 after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants sank overnight in seas off western Malaysia. Thirty-seven people remained missing on June 18 after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants heading home for Ramadan sank overnight in rough seas off western Malaysia, killing at least two. Officials said 58 people had been rescued or made it to land by themselves after the accident around midnight near Port Klang, Malaysia's largest port. AFP PHOTO/ Manan VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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The boat sank shortly after midnight about 2 nautical miles (3.7 kilometers) from shore on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur while trying to leave Malaysia illegally for Indonesia, said Mohamad Hambali Yaakup.

He said survivors included 12 women and a child. The Indonesians were believed to be heading home ahead of the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Dozens Missing After Migrant Boat Sinks Off Malaysian Coast

They were being questioned by police and immigration authorities, and Indonesian embassy officials were also on the scene.

A ship and several boats were searching for further survivors.

He said authorities are still investigating the reason why the boat sank.

Tens of thousands of Indonesians work illegally in plantations and other industries in Malaysia. They often risk dangerous journeys in poorly equipped boats to return home.

The area the boat sank is in the Strait of Malacca directly across from Indonesia.

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