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Ferry trial hears engineer's dramatic account

VANCOUVER - The criminal negligence trial into a fatal ferry sinking off B.C.'s coast has heard a dramatic first-person account from an engineer who was below deck when the ship struck an island.

Roger Tew is the latest witness at the trial of Karl Lilgert, who was the officer in charge of navigating the Queen of the North when it struck an island and sank, leaving two passengers missing.

Tew was in the engine room with another officer just past midnight on March 22, 2006, when he heard what sound liked like a loud gong.

He says the ship listed immediately, and soon after he heard a scraping sound as the ship slid along the bottom for almost 10 seconds.

Tew says water began pouring into the engine room almost immediately, filling the large room with about a metre of water in less than two minutes.

He says there was no indication anything was wrong with the ship or its navigation systems before the crash.

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