Skip to main content

Death toll hits 55 in Philippines ferry disaster

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
August 19, 2013 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
Volunteers search for victims near the damaged cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete on Saturday, August 17, a day after it collided with a passenger ferry in Talisay, in the Cebu province of the Philippines. The ferry, which sank, is thought to have been carrying about 700 passengers. Volunteers search for victims near the damaged cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete on Saturday, August 17, a day after it collided with a passenger ferry in Talisay, in the Cebu province of the Philippines. The ferry, which sank, is thought to have been carrying about 700 passengers.
HIDE CAPTION
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
Ferry collides with cargo ship in Philippines
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Diving efforts are suspended because of bad weather, PNA says
  • The ferry sank Friday after colliding with a cargo ship off Cebu City
  • Rescuers have saved 750 people, but dozens remain missing
  • More divers are expected to arrive Monday to help with search efforts

(CNN) -- Philippine navy divers retrieved bodies Monday from inside a ferry that sank last week after colliding with a cargo ship.

The discovery of more victims' remains brought the number of people confirmed dead from the disaster in the southern Philippines to 55, the Philippine Coast Guard said. Another 65 people remain missing and 750 have been rescued, it said.

The divers found the body of a child Monday near the hull of MV St. Thomas Aquinas, the sunken ferry, the official Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported.

They then managed to enter compartments of the vessel and recover more bodies, the agency said, citing Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, a navy spokesman.

But PNA reported that dive operations were suspended later in the day because of bad weather.

Another team of divers was expected to arrive within the day to help with the search and rescue efforts, Fabic said.

The collision occurred around 9 p.m. Friday in the Mactan Channel about 2 miles northwest of Cebu City, the capital of Cebu province.

Echoes of a past disaster

The St. Thomas Aquinas was coming from nearby Butuan City when the collision occurred. The cargo ship, the Sulpicio, which had about 20 people aboard, was leaving Cebu for Davao, a region on the island of Mindanao.

The passenger ferry sank, but not before sending out a distress call heard by Coast Guard officials.

The cargo vessel involved in the crash -- along with navy, Coast Guard and commercial vessels -- helped in the rescue efforts.

Photos from the scene showed a huge hole torn in the yellow bow of the Sulpicio.

The sinking recalls one of the worst maritime disasters in world history that took place on December 20, 1987, also off the Philippines.

Between 1,700 and more than 4,000 people were killed when the ferry Dona Paz collided with an oil tanker in the Tablas Strait. Reports of the total number of casualties have varied; many claim the Dona Paz was extremely overcrowded.

Philippines arrest Chinese 'poachers' after reef collision

Ships collide in North Sea

CNN's Jessica King, Kathy Quiano, Deanna Hackney and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1032 GMT (1832 HKT)
A 9-year-old girl learning to fire a submachine gun accidentally killed her instructor at a shooting range, according to Arizona authorities.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0815 GMT (1615 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
The mother of a hostage freed after two years captivity says it's not time to party.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)
"I just love it when I get milk-to-dark converts," says Kerrin Rousset, before she leads a small cocoa-hungry crowd through Zurich's Old Town.
ADVERTISEMENT