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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Bahrain police 'hold boat owner'
The hull of the upturned boat in Bahrain harbour
Prosecutors say the vessel was carrying too many people
The owner of a boat which capsized off Bahrain last week with the loss of 58 lives has been arrested, Bahrain's public prosecutors say.

Abdullah al-Qubaisi is to be questioned over allegations of "unintentional murder". The al-Dana's captain and his assistant were detained earlier.

Prosecutors say the boat was not properly insured and had not had the necessary inspection.

Many of the dead were expatriate workers from the UK and India.

Some 72 people were rescued from the water after the vessel, decorated in the manner of a traditional Arab dhow, sank on Thursday.

Most of those on board were employees of South African-based firm, Murray and Roberts, which organised the cruise to celebrate completion of part of the Bahrain World Trade Centre towers.

Bahrain's top public prosecutor, Nawaf Hamza, said Mr al-Qubaisi had admitted his vessel had not been insured.

Mr Qubaisi is to be held for questioning for seven days.

The Bahrain coastguard had already said the boat was not properly registered. However the owners denied this and produced a certificate they say was the licence.

More than 120 people were aboard the boat, which is believed to have been designed to hold no more than 100 people.

Mr Hamza told Bahrain's official BNA news agency: "The captain contacted the owner when he noticed there were too many passengers... the owner told him to sail despite this."

Mr Qubaisi had earlier blamed a tour company operating the boat for overloading it.

After the sinking, the authorities in Bahrain and the nearby emirate of Dubai suspended all tourist boat cruises until safety regulations were reviewed




SEE ALSO:
Captain held after Bahrain deaths
01 Apr 06 |  Middle East
Bahrain suspends all boat cruises
03 Apr 06 |  Middle East
Many die in Bahrain boat disaster
31 Mar 06 |  Middle East
Shipping disasters timeline
31 Mar 06 |  Middle East



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