246 survive Papua New Guinea ferry accident

Sydney: A total of 246 people have been rescued after a ferry accident off the coast of Papua New Guinea, authorities here said Friday. The vessel was carrying about 360 people.

Five ships carried the survivors to Lae town in the South Pacific country Thursday night, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.

Rony Naigu, an official of the Papua New Guinea rescue centre, said about 100 people were believed trapped inside the MV Rabaul Queen when it sank.

Owner of the ferry Rabaul Shipping Company Friday confirmed there were 350 people and 12 crewmembers on board, Xinhua reported.

Three ships, two helicopters and two planes were deployed by Australia in addition to the deployment by Papua New Guinea for rescue efforts.

The ferry sank around 7.00 a.m. Thursday, 16 km off the Finschhafen coast of Papua New Guinea.