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More Than 100 Missing In Papua New Guinea Ferry Disaster

More than 100 passengers are reported missing following the sinking of a ferry off Papua New Guinea.

A search operation is under way, and some 219 passengers have been reported rescued.

The operater of the "MV Rabaul Queen" says about 350 passengers were aboard the ferry when it went down.

The operator has blamed the sinking on bad weather, but Australian maritime officials say it is still too early to determine the cause.

Weather conditions are not hampering the rescue operation, officials say.

Eight merchant vessels are reportedly aiding in the search, as are local helicopters and Australian search-and-rescue aircraft.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has described the incident as a "major tragedy" that likely involves "a very high loss of life."

Compiled from agency reports