17 Feb 2012

Commission to probe PNG ferry disaster

4:08 pm on 17 February 2012

Preparations are underway in Papua New Guinea for the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the Rabaul Queen off Morobe two weeks ago.

The ferry sank in heavy seas while on a voyage from Kimbe to Lae.

Official estimates of lives lost in the disaster have ranged from about 100 to about 300.

The inquiry will be headed by Commissioner Justice Warwick Andrew, who also presided over the hearing into the Princess Ashika disaster in Tonga.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the inquiry will try to uncover the facts surrounding the capsizing and the subsequent attempts to rescue the victims.

It will also seek to establish the cause of the disaster; evidence that may point to criminal or civil liability and the reason why the loss of life was so high.

It will also present proposals for measure to try and prevent a recurrence.