| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Philippines to probe sinking of overloaded boat that killed at least 26

The Philippine Coast Guard said on Friday that it will look into why a passenger boat that capsized near the capital and killed at least 26 people was allowed to sail while overloaded.

The coast guard said 40 people were rescued on Thursday when the vessel sank in severe gusts, indicating that it was carrying much more passengers than it was meant for.

“We have called for investigation already, including on our personnel,” coast guard spokesperson Armand Balilo told CNN Philippines television, adding that complaints would be filed against the boat’s captain and operator.

The vessel was designed for roughly 40 passengers but it remains unclear how many people were allowed to board. The manifest showed only 22 names, the coast guard said.

Search and rescue, and retrieval operations are ongoing, Balilo said.

It is the second-deadliest in the Southeast Asian nation this year, after 33 people died in a ferry fire in the southern Philippines in March.

The country was this week hit by Typhoon Doksuri which brought winds of up to 175 km an hour (108 miles an hour) to its northern and most populated Luzon island, where the capital Manila is located.

The country has a patchy record for maritime safety, with vessels at times sailing while overcrowded and many ageing ships still in use.

  • Reuters