20 Mar 2012

Rabaul Queen sister ships torched at Buka

8:10 am on 20 March 2012

Three ships belonging to the owner of the sunken MV Rabaul Queen have been set on fire by angry locals in Papua new Guinea's autonomous province of Bougainville.

The MV Kopra I, MV Kopra II and the MV Solomon Queen were set alight on Buka Island in the early hours of Saturday morning by former fighters in the Bougainville civil war.

The former soldiers are believed to have impounded the three vessels following the sinking of the MV Rabaul Queen on February the 2nd.

Recent estimates put the death toll around 220.

The ships belonged to the owner of Rabaul Shipping, Peter Sharp, who says his business has already been impacted and now he has no ships left in Buka.

The cost of the damage is estimated to be 9.3 million US dollars.