YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

World Briefing


Nine dead as ferry overturns

September 07, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Passengers leaped into the dark sea and parents dropped children onto life rafts from a stricken ferry carrying nearly 1,000 people after it capsized in the middle of the night in the southern Philippines.

Nine people died and 33 were missing though rescue efforts saved about 900 terrified passengers on the Superferry 9 after it turned on its side nine miles off Zamboanga del Norte province.

The vessel's violent rotation roused frightened passengers from their sleep and sent many jumping into the water, coast guard chief Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo said.

Many aboard panicked as the huge ferry listed, said passenger Reymark Belgira, who saw parents tossing children to people on life rafts below.

Rescuers transferred 926 of 968 passengers and crewmen to two nearby commercial ships, a navy gunboat and a fishing boat, Tamayo said. A search was underway for those missing.

"We really hope they're just unaccounted for due to the confusion," Tamayo said.

A coast guard statement said rescue efforts were continuing.

Los Angeles Times Articles