Owner of Cruise Ship Sunk by Beirut Blast Sues

The Lebanese owner of a cruise ship that was sunk by the huge explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut is filing a lawsuit, the National News Agency said Friday.

Two crew members of the Orient Queen were killed and seven others wounded Tuesday when a huge shipment of ammonium nitrate caught fire and caused an explosion that leveled the port and gutted entire swathes of the city.

"Entrepreneur Merhi Abou Merhi, the owner of the Orient Queen cruise ship, has filed a lawsuit against all those responsible for this catastrophic blast," the agency said.

The state agency said the suit was the first of its kind and could pave the way for similar legal action in the coming days and weeks.

The large cruise ship, which can accommodate at least 300 guests and houses a casino, was docked in its home port when disaster struck.

The provisional death toll for the explosion is 154 but the figure is expected to rise since dozens of people are still reported missing and large numbers of injured are still hospitalized in critical condition.

Source: Agence France Presse

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