Update as of 4:49 a.m. EDT: At least 14 people, including 13 women, were killed after a boat capsized off Malaysia’s western coast on Thursday. The boat, which left Sabak Bernam district in Malaysia's Selangor state, was headed toward Sumatra in Indonesia, when the accident occurred, Reuters reported.
First Admiral at the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Muhammad Aliyas Hamdan, said that after initial conversations with the survivors, officials believe that the boat's passengers were undocumented migrants.
"If they are legal, they would not leave [the country] that way," Muhammad reportedly said, adding that 15 people have so far been rescued. He also said that the description of the boat led to the conclusion that it could not have carried over 100 people.
Update as of 3:30 a.m. EDT: Malaysian officials said, according to Agence France-Presse, that at least 13 people were killed after a boat carrying at least 70 people sank in the Malacca Strait early Thursday.
The report added that local fishermen rescued 13 people after the accident and the passengers on board were believed to be Indonesian migrants. Malaysia's Maritime Enforcement Agency has sent a team to the location to conduct search and rescue operations at the site.
A boat carrying about 100 people capsized near the busy Strait of Malacca off Malaysia's western coast Thursday morning, according to media reports. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency sent out a rescue team after receiving a call from fishermen in the area, but the team is yet to return, Reuters reported.
Astro Awani, a local news agency, reported, citing sources, that the boat was carrying undocumented immigrants. However, officials reportedly could not confirm this.
It was also not immediately clear if there were any casualties in the incident, Reuters reported, citing a spokesman for the maritime agency. The report added that several survivors had been rescued by fishermen.
A press conference will be held later Thursday to address the incident, which took place near Sabak Bernam district in the Southeast Asian country's richest state of Selangor, Astro Awani reported.
Most recently, in June, a boat with 97 suspected undocumented Indonesian immigrants, sank off Malaysia's western coast, claiming the lives of at least 66 people.
Southeast nations have faced a huge refugee crisis since Thailand began a crackdown on human traffickers in May. As a result, more than 4,000 people have landed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh.