Thursday, November 06, 2008

42 Die As Philippine Ferry Overturns

Philippine investigators on Wednesday detained the captain of a crowded ferry that overturned in freak weather, drowning 42 passengers, on suspicion of operating the vessel illegally. Some 100 people were rescued and eight were missing after the wooden-hulled Don Dexter Cathlyn was battered by winds and waves Tuesday shortly after leaving port in central Masbate island for nearby Sorsogon province, officials said.Victims included 12 children and a mother who lost her husband a week ago and died with her only child, said Masbate police chief Reuben Sindac. "There was this deep sense of sadness in the whole town last night," he said. Sindac said the captain, Dante Bombales, was taken into custody. Authorities also were looking for the owner. "That ferry was operating illegally," he said. Although the ferry left port in relatively clear weather, coast guard chief of staff Capt. Efren Evangelista said it did not have the required clearance and may have been overloaded.

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