A fire aboard a Soviet cruise liner that killed 11 people in May has been traced to a passenger's use of a heater to make a cup of coffee, the official news agency Tass reported.

Y. Dubinin "decided to make coffee, put an immersion heater into a glass of water, switched it on and fell asleep," Tass said in a brief dispatch without elaborating.The news agency said Friday that Dubinin faces criminal charges and could be sent to prison for up to three years.

The fire broke out May 17 on the cruise liner Priamurye while the ship was on a stopover in the Japanese port of Osaka.

The liner was carrying 295 Soviet tourists on a youth cruise around Japan, and 129 crew members. Tass said the fire caused nearly $1.6 million in damage.