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Australian police to investigate into cause of boat explosion
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16:22, April 16, 2009

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An investigation was already underway into the manner and cause of the explosion that killed at least three suspected asylum seekers on a boat off the northern coast of Australia, Northern Territory police said on Thursday.

"It will be a multi-jurisdictional investigation, it will entail resources from the Australian Federal Police ... it will entail significant cooperation with the Western Australian police... All the relevant agencies, immigration and Customs and the like,will have input," Deputy Commissioner Bruce Wernham told reporters.

Royal Darwin Hospital general manager Len Notaras said the majority of injuries were burns from fire, as well as fractures, head injuries and injuries as a result of being immersed in water for a period of time.

"They are being transported to an oil rig and they will be transported from that oil rig to other areas of the Western Australian coast and then transported across the country here to Darwin," Notaras said.

Perth, Broome and Darwin hospitals would all receive the injured, Notaras said, with Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) anticipating that they will arrive early Friday morning.

The hospital has been preparing for a worst case scenario and expected to receive many people with significant injuries, Notaras said.

Three people have been confirmed dead after the explosion at about 6.30 am local time on Thursday, with two missing and many more injured, including up to four navy personnel.


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