Page last updated at 05:23 GMT, Sunday, 27 December 2009

Up to 25 feared dead in fresh Philippines ferry tragedy

Norma Mauhay, left, and her daughter Leslie grieve in Batangas City as they wait for news about the fate of her son aboard the ferry, 27 December
Distraught relatives waited for news in Batangas City

At least three people have died and 22 remain missing after a ferry sank in waters south of the Philippines capital, Manila, the coast guard says.

The vessel was carrying 88 passengers and crew when it went down near Batangas City. Ships in the area rescued more than 60 people.

It follows another ferry disaster in the Philippines on Christmas Eve.

Up to 24 people are still missing after that vessel and a fishing boat collided in darkness in Manila Bay.

In the latest tragedy, survivors said the roll-on ferry listed and sank after taking in water from the bow ramp.

There were dozens of people on the water crying for help and calling out the names of their family members
Eric Musngi

Three passing ships helped rescue teams pick up survivors from the MV Baleno-9 vessel, and the search was continuing on Sunday.

"There were dozens of people on the water crying for help and calling out the names of their family members," passenger Eric Musngi told a radio interview, reports Reuters news agency.


"I don't know what happened to my mother and elder sister."

Sea accidents are common in the archipelago of more than 7,100 islands because of tropical storms and poor safety regulations.

Last year, more than 800 people died after a ferry overturned during a typhoon in the central Philippines.

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