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2 dead, 3 missing as boat carrying pilgrims capsizes in Laguna

/ 09:18 AM April 14, 2017

SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna—Two persons, one of them a child, died while three others remained missing after an outrigger boat carrying pilgrims capsized in the Laguna Lake near Pila town in Laguna province on Maundy Thursday, officials said on Friday.

The boat came from Pila with 15 people, most of them teenagers, and was on its way crossing the lake to Jala-jala Rizal when it capsized around 4 p.m. Thursday. The passengers were supposed to trek in Jala-jala as part of their Holy Week “panata” (vow), said Rommel Palacol of the Laguna Action Center.

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Local authorities were only alerted around 6:45 p.m. by one of the survivors who had swam back to the lakeshore in Pila, Palacol said.

Disaster responders rescued ten people identified as Erick John Pillas, 19; Martin Justin Lacson, 16; John Paul Lacson, 20; Rempis Kaycee Caraos,17; Aljin delaCruz, 22; Billy Jo Estacio, 25; Raffy Mesa, 27; Myla Lacson, 35; Rommel Articona, 20; and Leonel Pedrealba (age not immediately known).

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Authorities recovered the remains of Jonalyn Procopio, 7, on Thursday, while another yet to be identified body was recovered Friday morning. Three more, believed to be in their teens, had been missing.

“For one, they were overloaded,” Palacol said in a phone interview Friday.

Quoting the survivors, he said one of the passengers jokingly sat on the edge of the boat, that side without an outrigger, causing the boat to capsize.

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TAGS: Accident, Laguna, Maundy Thursday, Panata, Pila, pilgrimage, Pilgrims
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