Asylum seekers set own boat on fire

April 19, 2009 at 8:50 PM

SYDNEY, April 19 (UPI) -- Asylum seekers on board a boat that erupted in a deadly explosion last week off Australia's coast had doused the deck with gasoline, officials said.

The Australia Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday that police said they were still investigating Thursday's blast off Australia's northwest coast.

ABC reported that government sources said asylum seekers doused their vessel in an attempt to force the Australian navy to allow them to dock rather than turning them back to Indonesia.

The network reported at least three Afghans died and another two were missing presumed dead after the explosion.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett called for a through investigation into the incident, which left 41 survivors hospitalized.

"Surely there does need to be and there will be a detailed investigation which will bring out the fine detail but I believe there needs to be some clarification, after all we are three days on," he said. "I would hope that the federal government does make a more detailed statement to the Australian people."

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