Ferry passenger search continues

2009-09-07 10:07 BJT

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A huge passenger ferry with nearly one-thousand people on board, has capsized. So far, the number of casualties has risen to nine, while more than 33 passengers remain missing.

The Super Ferry Nine began to sink at about 2:30 AM local time, early Sunday morning, approximately 15 kilometers off the coast of Zam-bo-an-ga del Norte province.

Rescue workers have transferred 926 survivors to nearby vessels, and a search is underway for 33 missing passengers.

The ferry's ownership group is keeping abreast of the latest developments.

Erden Ferrer, Officer of Aboiti Transport System, said, "The captain is alive. The captain is on board the Navy Ship 116, at the moment. That we have confirmed. And also, about the 113 crew, we're still verifying the number and the whereabouts of the crew."

The officer added that the ferry skipper initially ordered everyone on board to abandon the ship as a precaution.

Some survivors complained that they didn't receive any warning as the boat started going down, however.

Jeffery Predchuz, Canadian Survivor, said, "No alarm, there was no one who came banging on the door to let us know."

Earlier reports stated that the vessel's generator malfunctioned, intermittently switching on and off.

The Philippine government has deployed Navy ships and helicopters to assist in the rescue operation.

Officials say there are no signs of terrorism and the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: CCTV.com