Philippines ferry crash leaves at least five dead

by BBC
_69327192_philippines_cebu_0113
At least five people have died and 250 people rescued after a ferry carrying some 700 people collided with a cargo ship in central Philippines.

The ferry, MV Thomas Aquinas, began sinking after hitting the cargo vessel on Friday evening near the central city of Cebu, officials said.

Coastguard and naval vessels were joined by local fishing boats in the rescue effort, which is continuing.

With so many still unaccounted for, it is feared the death toll could rise.

The ferry, carrying 692 people, was sailing into the port at Cebu – the country’s second biggest city – when it collided with the cargo ship travelling the other way at about 21:00 local time (01:00 GMT).

“The impact was very strong,” Rachel Capuno, a spokesperson for the owners of the ferry, told local radio.

She said the ship sank within 30 minutes of the collision, the AFP reports.

One survivor has been quoted as saying he saw bodies floating in the sea.

“It seems some people were not able to get out,” passenger Jerwin Agudong told radio station DZBB. “I pity the children. We saw dead bodies on the side, and some being rescued.”

Maritime accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago because of tropical weather, badly maintained passenger boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations.

The world’s worst maritime disaster in peacetime occurred in the Philippines in December 1987. More than 4,000 people died when the Dona Paz ferry collided with a tanker.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s