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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 16:39 GMT
Big fines for fatal QM2 accident
Queen Mary 2 (file pic)
The ship, operated by Cunard Line, entered service in January 2004
The French builder of the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 and another firm have each been fined 177,500 euros (133,649) over an accident that killed 16 people.

A walkway collapsed in November 2003, when the giant ship was in dry dock at Saint Nazaire in France.

The shipbuilder Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique and subcontractor Endel, which built the walkway, were fined for manslaughter and involuntary injury.

At the time, the Queen Mary 2 was the world's largest liner.

Prosecutors said the walkway was a last-minute replacement.

The victims landed on the concrete floor of the dry dock after a fall of almost 15 metres (49.5ft).

The 10m walkway from the quayside to the ship had been constructed just the day before it broke.

The ship, which counts Southampton, England, as its home port, had been under construction at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard since 2002.

The court found the shipbuilder guilty of a "lack of organisation in the chain of command". It also ruled that the subcontractor should have followed proper industry standards in building the walkway.


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