Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
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Julia Gillard on Papua New Guinea ferry 'tragedy'

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has described the sinking of a ferry off Papua New Guinea as ''a major tragedy'' and has said Australia is providing help.

More than 200 people have been rescued from the sea off Papua New Guinea's north coast after the vessel sank with up to 350 on board.

The MV Rabaul Queen, operated by PNG company Star Ships, was travelling between the towns of Kimbe and Lae.

Ms Gillard said the authorities were urgently trying to find out if any Australians were on board.

  • 02 Feb 2012