Destinations Magazine

RP: 40 Dead, 172 Missing as 2 Ships Collide

By Switpie @SwitPaie
MANILA, Philippines—Rescuers scour the waters for more than 170 people missing after a passenger ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank almost instantly off Cebu province in thick darkness, with 31 already confirmed dead. Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said MV St. Thomas Aquinas was carrying 831 people—715 passengers and 116 crewmembers—when it went down late on Friday night in a dangerous choke point near the port of Cebu City. Coast guard and military vessels, as well as local fishermen in their own small boats hauled 629 people out of the water alive. Abaya said 172 people were still unaccounted for and 31 bodies had been retrieved. The Philippine Coast Guard has warned the death toll would inevitably rise. Reporters at the site, about two kilometers from shore, saw the bodies coated with fuel and oil that spilled from the ferry. PCG deputy chief Rear Admiral Luis Tuason, vice commandant of the coast guard, said that some of the missing could be trapped inside the vessel that sank in waters 100 feet deep off Talisay City in Cebu province, about 570 kilometers south of Manila. “There could be more bodies there, but there were ropes inside that our divers [...]

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