Ferry Capsize Kills 36 in Philippines

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A ferry capsized off the Central Philippines killing at least 36 people on board.  The ferry set sail from the port of Ormoc with 173 passengers and 16 crew members.

According to Mr. Ray Gozon, Director, Office of Civil Defense,“Search and rescue operations are ongoing.  Initially we learned that it was due to big waves”.

Philippines, an archipelago of 7,100 islands, has a very poor record of maritime safety with thousands dying each year.  Over -crowding of the ferries and poor maintenance is often cited as the reasons for such accidents.

As the rescue operations continue, television pictures show orange rubber boats and white coast guard vessels bringing survivors ashore.

Other possible causes of tragedy being discussed are bad weather and human error.

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