2013-08-18 16:31:20 -
Philippine officials say at least 38 people - including children - have died and 82 remain missing in the aftermath of a collision between a ferry and a container ship Friday night. Search and rescue efforts continue as leaking oil spreads from the sunken ferry.
The Philippine Coast Guard says search and rescue work will be downgraded to recovery and retrieval of bodies once 48 hours have passed from the time of the accident.
Central Philippines Coast Guard Commander Weniel Azcuna says divers are having a hard time getting inside the M-V St. Thomas Aquinas, which sank within minutes of the collision.
"As we speak now, the winds and the waves [are] quite strong here at the scene of the sunken vessel," Abaya
Monsoon rains combining with a typhoon in the extreme north of the country are to blame.
Azcuna says the bad weather has also hampered efforts to contain oil leaking from the Aquinas, which has a fuel capacity of 120,000 liters. He says a contractor is using a chemical dispersant on the oil.
The Aquinas was heading for a stop in Cebu City in the central Philippines, before going on to Manila when the Sulpicio Express 7 cargo ship hit it. Officials say the two vessels were passing each other in a 550-meter-wide shipping channel off Talisay Town, near Cebu.
Recapitulation of rescued, recovered and missing passengers (From the Philippine Coastguard)
Sunday, 18 August 2013 17:17
Herewith is the latest update as of 2:45 PM August 18, 2013:
Rescued - (750) passengers
Casualties - (38)
Still Missing - (82) subject of search and rescue operation
The name Sulpicio Lines lives on in infamy, even if the owners, basically the Go family of Cebu, changed it to Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp.
This name change happened in December 2009. A little later, Harold Go acting vice-president stated the change of name was the company's way of moving forward after the hundreds who died when the Princess of the Stars capsized during a storm in June 2008. This was in the wake of whole host of Sulpicio fatalaties including MV Princess of the Orient, MV Doña Marilyn and the MV Doña Paz that sank on December 20, 1987. With an estimated death toll of 4,375 people, the collision resulted in the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history. Doña Paz was traveling from Leyte island to the Philippine capital of Manila.
Full story, more pictures and details of previous sinkings involving Sulpicio Lines: