9 Feb 2012

PNG leaders meet families of victims and survivors of ferry disaster

11:17 am on 9 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has been in Lae to meet relatives of the victims and survivors from last week's ferry disaster.

246 people have reportedly been rescued after the MV Rabaul Queen sank in rough seas near the end of a 20-hour journey between Kimbe and Lae.

Searchers have found four bodies but reports indicate that more than a hundred people remain unaccounted for.

Our correspondent, Oseah Philemon, says Peter O'Neill has travelled to Lae to join leaders from the provinces most affected by the sinking, including Bougainville, East and West New Britain.

He says Mr O'Neill has heard accounts of the ferry being overloaded with passengers.

"The government is going to carry out a thorough investigation into the cause of this marine accident as well as to try and understand what has been happening in this industry in the country because we've had several accidents in the past and the government has not really done anything about it but Peter O'Neill now says the government has to get down to the bottom of this and if they need to change the laws or whatever policies in place to try and stop this from happening then he will do it."