11 Feb 2012

Ferry survivors suffer stomach pain after swallowing oil

1:45 pm on 11 February 2012

A church worker looking after survivors of a ferry disaster in Papua New Guinea says many are dealing with stomach pain after swallowing oily seawater.

The MV Rabaul Queen sank in rough seas near the end of a journey from the island of New Britain to Lae on the mainland on 2 February.

Angela Worealevi, of the Catholic Diocese in Lae, says her centre is housing 66 survivors, 35 of whom are students.

She says a number of them are coming to terms with the loss of a parent and many are also dealing with injuries including cuts and stomach pain after ingesting fouled water.

It is now feared about 320 people lost their lives in the sinking - a big increase on the 100 originally thought to have died.