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August 13, 2009

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Ferry wreck located, 93 still missing

SEARCHERS yesterday located the wreck of a ferry that capsized off Tonga a week ago and found no immediate signs of the 93 people on board who are still missing and presumed dead.

The Princess Ashika flipped over and sank on August 5 in a tragedy that has reverberated throughout the tiny South Pacific kingdom and triggered accusations that the government allowed the ferry to operate despite not being seaworthy.

Tongan Police Commander Chris Kelley said the hulk was found yesterday by an unmanned search device in about 110 meters of water near where the ferry foundered about 85 kilometers northeast of the capital, Nuku'alofa.

Two people, a British man and a Tongan woman, are confirmed dead in the sinking, while 54 other passengers and crew survived.


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