Home > Papua New Guinea > Police and independent investigation team to probe ferry disaster

Police and independent investigation team to probe ferry disaster

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

The survivors of the sunken ferry the MV Rabaul Queen this morning petitioned the National Government calling on it to conduct an immediate investigation into the freak boating accident. The petition was presented to the Minister for National Planning Sam Basil at the Morobe Provincial Disaster centre in Lae.

Amongst other things, people claim that the boat is not sea worthy and the crew had not considrered the safety of passengers. The owners of the shipping company have not released any official record of the passenger list (manifest) but one survivor of the accident claimed about 600 people boarded the ferry when it departed Kimbe on Wednesday.

Police have been asked to treat the accident as “criminal” in nature due to the negligence of the company to overload peopleĀ on board.

Almost half of that number many of them school students have been found alive following the disaster and the rescue efforts yesterday. The other half of people , mainly women, young children and some elderly people have not been accounted for so far and authorities believe they may have perished in the rough seas when the ship went down.

Minister Basil promised that the Government will be bringing in an independent investigation team from abroad to probe the accident similar to the Tongan ferry disaster last year.

Basil said the National Executive Council will meet next Monday to discuss the issue while, K500 thousand kina will be released immediatley to the Morobe Disaster Office to conduct searches for any more survivors.

The search today was called off due to strong wind and rough seas in the area. An appeal has been made to people in maritime provinces and coastal areas to look out for any bodies that may be washed ashore in the next few days.

MV Kris which went down in Cape Gloscester in West New Britain and MV Sarasong which sank at St George Channel in New Ireland some years back are owned by Peter Sharp. MV Rabaul Queen is the third fatality of Mr Sharp.

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  1. Mangibuka
    February 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Rabaul shipping is one of highly corrupted company in png,they bribe all NMSA officers and run the ships with lack of safety,government is sleeping ?

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