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Survivors of Egyptian Ship Report Fire Before Sinking


Survivors of an Egyptian ferry that sank in the Red Sea are blaming the crew for continuing the voyage even after a fire broke out on board.

The survivors say the vessel did not turn back when the blaze erupted about two hours after the ship left the Saudi port of Dubah late Thursday. They said the ferry began to list and went down quickly in bad weather early Friday.

Witnesses also said the 35-year-old ferry Al-Salam Boccaccio 98 did not have enough lifeboats.

Authorities say it is not clear if the fire caused the ship to sink. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has ordered an investigation.

Rescue teams have found about 400 survivors and recovered nearly 200 bodies. The rest of the more than 14 hundred mainly Egyptian passengers and crew are missing. Authorities say hope is fading of finding more survivors in the chilly waters.
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