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Ferry capsizes in the Philippines, killing 28

Latest update : 2008-12-15

At least 28 people were killed and 22 others missing after a regional ferry capsized in the northern Philippines late on Sunday. This was the fourth incident of its kind this year, the area being known for its strong waves.

REUTERS - At least 28 people were killed and 22 others were missing after an inter-island ferry capsized in the northern Philippines, the coast guard said on Monday.

The vessel, "Maejan," carrying at least 96 passengers, was on its way to the town of Aparri when it was hit by large waves just off the coastal town of Ballesteros late Sunday, a statement said.

Forty-six survivors have been rescued from the area, the statement said. Initial reports said there were only 60 passengers with 13 dead but these were later updated.

Among the dead is a one-year-old boy, the civil defence office said, adding that the area is known for its strong waves and currents.

Two coast guard rescue boats and a search plane have been dispatched to the area to search for the missing, the coast guard said. However civil defence officials said heavy seas are hampering search efforts.

It was the latest in a string of maritime accidents to hit this archipelago.

In November, at least 42 people died when a ferry was it by a freak whirlwind in the central Philippines. One person died in a separate incident late in the month.

In June, the 23,000-tonne Princess of the Stars, carrying 850 passengers and crew, capsized after hitting a reef off the central island of Sibuyan at the height of Typhoon Fengshen.

Only 57 passengers and crew survived in the country's worst maritime disaster for 20 years.


Date created : 2008-12-15