Israeli crew quizzed over collision

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2005, 12:00am

Investigators from Japan and Israel yesterday questioned the captain and crew of a container ship involved in a fatal collision with a Japanese fishing boat after the Israeli ship's overnight mooring in Hong Kong.

The Zim Asia collided with the fishing boat off Hokkaido, Japan, ten days ago, capsizing the boat and killing seven of the eight crew on board.

Tokyo sent six investigators to question the captain, Moshe Ben David - who initially denied that the Zim Asia had been involved in the collision - and his crew.

The Israeli Ministry of Transport's chief investigator into the accident, Captain George Magid, interrogated the crew and captain before the Japanese group was allowed on board. The ship arrived just before 2am yesterday.

Four members of the Japanese coastguard and two investigators from that country's Maritime Accidents Inquiry Agency boarded the Zim Asia at the Kwai Chung Container Terminal at 5.50am and spent almost seven hours questioning the crew and checking the ship for signs of a collision.

The ship left Hong Kong yesterday on its scheduled route to Singapore.

Zim is one of the world's largest container shipping companies and operates a network of shipping lines globally.