Nine people die after Philippine ferry sinks

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

At least nine people have died after a ferry with over 960 passengers on board sank off the southeast coast of the Philippines on Sunday. Thirty more are still unaccounted for.

According to coast guards, 931 people were rescued from the SuperFerry 9, which had departed from General Santos City and was headed for the peninsula of Zamboanga. The vessel began to list at 02.30 local time (18.30 UTC), and issued a distress call an hour later.

The captain reportedly tried to correct the list, but ordered the ship's rafts to be released when it became clear it was impossible to get the vessel straightened back out again.

The cause of the incident is not yet certain. Maritime accidents occur frequently in the Philippines, mainly due to poor maintenance of ships, relaxed safety enforcement, overcrowding of ships, and inclement weather.

Last year, 802 passengers including crew were killed when the MV Princess of the Stars ferry sank during a typhoon.


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