JAKARTA, May 20 (Xinhua) -- At least five people were killed and more than 137 others rescued safely after a ferry caught fire in waters off the East Java province in western Indonesia on Friday evening, rescuers said Saturday.

Head of Search and Rescue Office of the East Java province Muhammad Arifin said those people were rescued by a ship of the rescue office and a passenger ship Kartika.

"A total of five bodies are already placed at sea port, and now we are transporting all the rescued people to sea port," Arifin told Xinhua from the rescue ship.

Ferry Mutiara Sentosa with about 178 people on board caught big fire in waters off Masalembo of the Sumenep district on Friday evening, Head of National Search and Rescue Office Marsudi had earlier told Xinhua by phone.

A search and rescue operation for the missing is still going on, involving two helicopters, scores of ships and around 200 personnel, according to Marsudi.