Casualties feared after ship sinks off Quezon, says PCG
An undetermined number of casualties have been reported after a passenger ship capsized between Dinahican Point, Quezon and Polillo Island, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
In a press conference on Thursday, PCG spokesman Armand Balilo said they could not verify the number of casualties as rescue operations are ongoing after MV Mercraft 3, bound for Polilio Island, sank off Quezon.
MV Mercraft 3 is a fastcraft ship tasked to service passengers crossing Real, Quezon to Polilio Island, Balilo said.
Two hundred fifty-one passengers were onboard the sunken ship, the PCG spokesman said.
“We will continue [the rescue operations] kahit na maggabi (even through the night); we have heard casualties but we are still validating,” Balilo said.
Several passengers have already been rescued, Balilo said, adding that they also requested for a helicopter to look for other unaccounted passengers.
The sinking, however, could not yet be attributed to the weather, Balilo said. “We would only know once we’re done with the rescue operations,” he said.
MV Mercraft 3 was allowed to travel since tropical storm Urduja has already passed and there was no prohibition when the ship departed Real, Quezon, Balilo said. /je
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