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Cebu ferry death toll now at 55

/ 06:18 PM August 19, 2013

AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Additional fatalities to the ill-fated sunken ship MV St. Thomas Aquinas were recovered Monday afternoon, increasing the death toll from the ship collision off Cebu last Friday to 55.

As of 3:45 p.m., 55 bodies were retrieved while 65 were still missing, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

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Passengers rescued remained at 750.

Search operations resumed early Monday, with technical divers trying to attempt to go inside the ship after putting entry and exit marks on Sunday.

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But as of midday, search and rescue efforts were temporarily terminated due to unfavorable weather condition, the PCG said.

Lieutenant Commander Noel Escalona, operations officer of the Naval Forces Central, told INQUIRER.net that most of the bodies retrieved by the divers were found near the entrance of the ship.

He said the divers went underwater twice Monday morning, and will resume Tuesday after bad weather stopped the search operations.

The MV Sulpicio Express 7 Cargo vessel bound for Davao City and MV St. Thomas Aquinas (2Go) passenger vessel from Butuan bound for Cebu collided off Talisay City in Cebu late Friday. Both had over 800 passengers and crew.

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TAGS: Cebu, environment, Maritime Accidents, oil leak, Philippines, Pollution, Regions, St. Thomas Aquinas
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