29 Aug 2009

Tonga police release more details of Princess Ashika victims

9:14 am on 29 August 2009

Tongan police have now released the names of 71 victims out of the 72 people presumed drowned in the Princess Ashika ferry disaster earlier this month.

Most were Tongan, but the foreigners among the dead include a Niuean, two Germans, two French people and a Briton.

Tonga's assistant police commander, Itu Tupouniua, also says that authorities believe a Hungarian passenger also perished on the boat.

However survivors of the ferry sinking had not positively identified the man from pictures.

Mr Tupouniua says he can reveal few details but that the victim is a male whose details they have and that Tonga's Foreign Ministry is in contact with Hungary's embassy in Canberra.

Police should be in a position to release his details next week.

With the wreck at a depth of 110 metres, Tonga's government has not yet decided whether to seek help from other countries to retrieve bodies.