The number of survivors from the doomed Salaam-98 rose Sunday to 460 as furious relatives continued to wait at Bur Safajah dockside for news of loved ones

But most of the 1,300 passengers of the Egyptian roll-on roll-off Red Sea ferry are feared lost. The cause of the disaster is thought to be a fire in the engine room which caused the ship to list and then sink very quickly. The captain instead of turning the vessel back to the Saudi home port of Duba is said to have grabbed a lifeboat and fled the ship, leaving the passengers to their fate. He has since disappeared.
The roll-on roll-off vessel was on a routine trip between Duba and Bur Safajah, Egypt Thursday night when it sank 40 miles off the Egyptian coast. Hundreds of distressed relatives waiting at the dock are asking angry questions about the 10-hour time lapse between the ship’s disappearance and the alarm, the lack of distress signals, the shortage of life saving equipment. Most of the passengers were Egyptians working in Saudi Arabia. A state inquiry promised by President Mubarak has begun interviews.

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