Philippines Ferry Capsizes Leaving 22 People Drowned

10:30, 15 December 2008
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The wooden-hulled MB...

An overloaded ferry carrying almost 100 people capsized in the northern Philippines, drowning at least 22 people and leaving 29 missing, police said, according to Bloomberg.

The wooden-hulled MB Mae Jan overturned less than 300 meters (984 feet) from its destination, the town of Aparri in Cagayan province, at about 8:30 p.m. local time yesterday, Senior Inspector Alex de los Santos said. Police and local residents rescued 46 people, he said.

“We’re keeping hope alive that more survivors will be found,” De los Santos said, adding Navy and Coast Guard teams arrived today to help in search and rescue operations.

The vessel capsized in choppy waters because it was overloaded, Transportation Undersecretary Maria Elena Bautista said in a phone interview. The ferry’s authorized capacity was 40 passengers, she said, adding the owner and her daughter were identified among the dead.

Many Filipinos take ferries to travel between the nation’s 7,100 islands. Stormy weather and lax regulation have been blamed for accidents, including a collision that killed 4,000 people in 1987, the world’s worst peacetime shipping disaster.

In June, the MV Princess of the Stars capsized in the central Philippines, leaving as many as 800 dead. More than 50 people died in two ferry sinkings in November.

Aparri is on the north of the island of Luzon and about 427 kilometers (265 miles) north of Manila. The vessel was traveling from Calayan island north of Cagayan.

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