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BOAT WITH 173 ON BOARD CAPSIZES IN PHILIPPINE WATERS, 33 FEARED DEAD


MANILA, Philippines -  A ferry with 173 people on board overturned in rough waters in the central Philippines on Thursday as rescuers rushed to the scene, the coast guard said.
At least 33 people were dead, a disaster monitoring official said.
The Kim Nirvana was heading from the central city of Ormoc to the island of Camotes when it capsized, the coast guard office in Manila said.
Search and rescue operations were ongoing and it was unclear if there were any fatalities or anyone rescued so far, the coast guard office said.
At least seven rescue boats picked up dozens of survivors who clung to the overturned hull of the Kim Nirvana, 1km from Ormoc port, Ciriaco Tolibao from the city’s disaster risk reduction and management office told AFP.
The boat capsized in the waters off Ormoc City in the Philippine island of Leyte past noon on Thursday, just a few minutes after leaving the port there.
Divers were scouring the murky waters searching for survivors from the inside of the ship, he said.
The coast guard confirmed that it was engaged in search and rescue activities but could give no further details of the operation.
Poorly maintained, loosely-regulated ferries are the backbone of maritime travel in the sprawling archipelago.
But this has led to frequent accidents that have claimed hundreds of lives in recent years.
  • This include the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster in 1987 when the Dona Paz ferry collided with an oil tanker, leaving more than 4,300 dead.

Source: – AFP
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