23 Aug 2013

Three more charged over Rabaul Queen sinking in PNG

3:07 pm on 23 August 2013

Three more people have been charged in Papua New Guinea in relation to the Rabaul Queen sinking off Morobe 18 months ago which killed at least 162 people.

On Wednesday the owner of the shipping company Peter Sharp was charged with 162 counts of manslaughter and one for taking an unseaworthy ship to sea.

Today the captain has been charged with the same offences as Mr Sharp while two others - a Maritime Safety official and the company's port manager in Kimbe have been charged with manslaughter.

Chief inspector Benjamin Turi says Kimbe was the last port of call before the ship sank and says officials neglected their duty to ensure the ship wasn't overloaded.

"We did not get all the names of everyone that lost their lives because of the nature of the geography of the country which is very far away and hard to get to the police station or give information, so we only came up with 374 on board which is still more than the required number of people that's 295."

Chief inspector Benjamin Turi says more arrests are likely.