Egypt's top prosecutor has indicted six people in the Red Sea ferry sinking that left more than 1,000 passengers, most of them Egyptian, dead.

The prosecutor Maher Abdel Wahab has accused Mamdouh Ismail, the owner of the Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98 ferry and five others of negligence in the February disaster.

They allegedly knew about a fire onboard but failed to act quickly, causing a delay in rescue operations.

Ismail and his son, also indicted, have fled Egypt and are believed to be in Europe. Egypt has issued international warrants for their arrest.

The ferry was carrying more than 1,400 passengers as it traveled from Duba in Saudi Arabia to Safaga on Egypt's Red Sea coast. Fire broke out on the car deck, and the crew decided to continue on rather than turn back.

A report by Egypt's parliament noted safety violations including a shortage of fire extinguishers and life rafts. The crew tried to extinguish the fire with water hoses. The car deck filled with water and the ship capsized.

Ismail's assets have been frozen and his parliamentary immunity lifted. He is a member of the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament.

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