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Bahrain Detains Owner of Capsized Boat for Questioning


Bahrain says the owner of a boat that capsized last week off Bahrain's coast has been detained for a week for questioning on charges of manslaughter.

Fifty eight passengers died in the accident, all foreigners.

Bahraini prosecutors said Tuesday the vessel's owner, Abdullah al-Kobaisi, did not have a proper license to use the boat. They also said the owner told the captain to set sail, although the owner knew the boat was overloaded with passengers.

Owners of the ship have acknowledged it was overloaded with more than its capacity of 100 people.

Authorities have also detained the ship's captain for questioning, claiming he was not qualified to operate the boat, which embarked on a dinner cruise last Thursday evening. Seventy two people survived the accident.

A British survivor says the ship was swaying even before it left port. Survivors say the boat began to list sharply after it made a sharp turn about two kilometers off Bahrain's coast.

Twenty two Indians and 13 Britons were among the dead. An assistant to the captain has also been detained.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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