25 Aug 2003

Fiji authorities probe ferry sinking

4:29 pm on 25 August 2003

Authorities in Fiji have ordered an inquiry into the sinking of an inter-island ferry during the weekend.

All 80 passengers and crew on the MV Ovalau were rescued then the ferry went down in waters about 20 km north of Rakiraki after it began leaking when the engines failed.

The people were picked up by its sister ship, the Princess Ashika, but the sunken ferry was laden with fertilizers, oil, caustic soda and food destined for Labasa.

As well, container trucks which sank with the ferry were also carrying a wide variety of goods, fuel oil and tanks full of chemicals.