7 Feb 2012

PNG Transport MInister says ferry disaster no surprise

9:28 pm on 7 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's Transport Minister says he could have predicted last Thursday's ferry disaster, given the state of the country's vessels and complacent attitudes towards safety.

A preliminary investigation into the sinking is underway but Francis Awesa wants Australian help to carry out an independent investigation.

Six people are known to have died when the ferry sank, and more than 100 are still missing.

The remaining 246 people were rescued.

Mr Awesa says the ferry had 40 more people on board than it was licensed to carry.