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50 Killed in Philippines Ferry Accident

  • VOA News

Rescuers tie a rope at the capsized vessel MBCA Kim-Nirvana to pull it towards the shore near a port in Ormoc city, central Philippines, July 3, 2015.

Rescuers tie a rope at the capsized vessel MBCA Kim-Nirvana to pull it towards the shore near a port in Ormoc city, central Philippines, July 3, 2015.

Philippine authorities said the death toll from a ferry accident has risen to 50.

Coast Guard spokesman Cmdr. Armand Balilo said all 187 passengers and crew members on the M/B Kim Nirvana had been accounted for, with 142 survivors and no reports of anyone else missing.

At least 134 passengers were rescued or swam ashore after the Kim Nirvana went down in choppy waters Thursday just minutes after leaving Ormoc City on the island of Leyte on its regular route to the Camotes Islands.

An initial investigation suggests a combination of bad weather and human error led to the wreck of the wooden ship.

Eyewitnesses said the vessel was being hit by strong waves when it made a sharp right turn. The passengers then crowded to one side of the boat, causing it to list.

Police and rescuers comfort a crying passenger after he was brought ashore from a capsized passenger ferry July 2, 2015, in Ormoc city, central Philippines.

Police and rescuers comfort a crying passenger after he was brought ashore from a capsized passenger ferry July 2, 2015, in Ormoc city, central Philippines.

​Workers on Friday were using a crane to turn the partially submerged vessel on its side, in an attempt to find more bodies.

Ferry accidents kill dozens, if not hundreds of people each year in the Philippines, thanks in part to overcrowding and poor safety standards.

Passenger boats are an important mode of transportation in the archipelago nation, which is made up of more than 7,000 islands.

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