Deaths in Philippines ferry accidents

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Map of the Philippines.

In two separate ferry incidents, more than 40 people are feared dead in the Philippines. The first accident on Thursday involved a wooden ferry near Limbones Island colliding with a large fishing boat, the Nathalia. 46 people were rescued, four confirmed dead. The BBC reports as many as 24 may still be missing from the incident.

The second incident occurred today, south of Manila at Batangas. The MV Baleno-9 capsized after listing and taking water, drowning three. At least twenty remain missing.

Commander Armand Balilo, a coastguard spokesman, said rescue operations are continuing. "Hopefully their [search] flights will not be fruitless and they may find a few more of the missing," he told a local radio station, "We always hope that there will be survivors."

The Philippines has a history of storms, lax safety enforcement, and aging boats, leading to common ferry accidents despite the island nation's heavy reliance on ferries for transportation.