Toll in Masbate ferry sinking up to 15, other bodies found
() - July 13, 2007 - 3:14pm

MANILA (AP) - Divers sent to search a sunken Philippine ferry say they have found many bodies besides the 15 already recovered in the disaster.

At least 129 people survived the sinking of the MV Blue Water Princess off the southern tip of Luzon island about 140 miles southeast of Manila.

The inter-island ferry ran aground and tilted to one side about 500 yards from shore during stormy weather early Thursday.

The number of passengers still missing is unclear because there was no official count of those on board.

The ferry was authorized to carry as many as 256 people but the manifest listed only 28 passengers, according to the coast guard in Lucena, the capital of Quezon province. The vessel was on the way from Lucena to the central island of Masbate.

Passengers on trucks and buses that were inside the ferry were not counted, local radio station DZBB reported a disaster relief coordinator as saying.

Three of the 15 bodies recovered so far washed ashore early Friday, said Lt. Col. Rhoderick Parayno, spokesman for the army's Southern Luzon command, whose troops were involved in the rescue effort.

He said divers who attempted to search the ferry's interior "saw many dead bodies inside."

"They can't start the recovery due to strong waves," he said, adding that it was raining at the site.

Villagers said the ship sank about 500 yards from shore, Parayno said.

Lt. Senior Grade Armando Balilo, a coast guard spokesman, quoted the ship's owner and captain as saying the ferry ran aground.

San Francisco Mayor Ernani Tan quoted survivors and crew as saying 14 trucks tilted to one side of the vessel during rough waters spawned by strong monsoon winds.

"The vehicles caused imbalance in the ship," he said.

BLUE WATER PRINCESS FERRY LUCENA LUZON MASBATE PARAYNO QUEZON RHODERICK PARAYNO SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR ERNANI TAN SENIOR GRADE ARMANDO BALILO SOUTHERN LUZON
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with