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Bahrain boat capsize: 18 Indians killed

Last updated on: March 31, 2006 17:39 IST

At least 57 people, including 18 Indians, were killed when a boat carrying 150 people on a dinner cruise sank off the Bahrain coast, officials said.

A Bahrain interior ministry official said 63 people were rescued and 12 of them sustained injuries when the boat overturned around one kilometer from the Shaikh Khalifa Causeway, which links Mina Salman and Muharraq, on Thursday.

The boat, whose capacity was 100 people, was overloaded and its Indian captain had initially refused to put to sea, its owner Al Qobaisi said.

"When the captain saw how many people were boarding and how much stock was being taken on board for the party, he did not want to put out, but the organisers insisted," he said.

Information Minister Mohammad Abdul-Ghaffar Abdullad told Al Arabiya television that around 25 Britons, 20 Filipinos, 10 South Africans and 10 Egyptians were among those onboard.

According to preliminary information, the passengers worked for the same company and were on an evening dinner cruise when the mishap took place.

The trip was organised by the Nass group to celebrate the completion of the concrete structure of the Bahrain World Trade Centre Towers.

An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa pledged full support to those hit by the tragedy.

"All relevant government bodies will provide immediate help and take all necessary steps to help those who have suffered from this trauma," he said.

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