Manila 17th August 2013 : At least 26 people have died and 215 are missing after a ferry collided Friday with a cargo ship in waters between southern Philippine islands. The incident occurred around 9 p.m. Friday in the Mactan Channel about 2 miles northwest of city of Cebu.
The passenger ship,MV St. Thomas Aquinas was coming from nearby Butuan City. The cargo ship, the Sulpicio was leaving Cebu for the province of Davao in Mindanao.
Rachel Capuno, a spokesperson for the owners of the ferry, told local radio “The impact was very strong.”
Hundreds of passengers jumped into the ocean as the ferry began taking on water and listing, said survivors. Many of the passengers were asleep and others struggled to find their way in the dark. At least 44 people were being treated at one hospital in Cebu.
“There could be more bodies there but there were ropes inside that our divers could get entangled in,” said Rear Admiral Luis Tuason of the coast guard.