Death Toll Rises To 52 In Philippine Ship Collision

UPDATE – At least 52 people have been reported dead after a ferry and cargo ship collided in the Philippines on Friday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 52 dead have been recovered in the waters off the Philippine central island of Cebu, said the Philippine Coast Guard.

So far, Philippine authorities and fishermen have so far rescued 750 people, including the captains of the ships involved in the mishap.

Around 68 are still missing, but the reports have stated that the Coast Guard had to suspend operations at noon Monday due to rough seas.

Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Weniel Azcuna told The Wall Street Journal:

“Diving operations started early Monday and 11 bodies were recovered from the sunken ferry before operations were suspended.”

A massive oil leak has also hampered the search and rescue efforts.

According to WebProNews, Azcuna stating the following:

“The oil spill has hampered rescue because it affects visibility, skin of the divers”

The Wall Street Journal continued on to report that the oil has reached the shores of Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town.

Azcuna stated that the ferry had been carrying 20 tons of diesel and 120 tons of bunker fuel.

“2Go Shipping Lines, which owns the sunken ship, has engaged Malayan Towage, an oil spill export, to assist it in containing the spill.

“The Coast Guard has also deployed its own equipment to contain the oil spill.”

The Inquisitr reported on the Philippine ship collision on Friday and stated that a former fisherman and friends responded to the ferry’s distress call when it first sent it out and were even able to rescue seven people at that time.

The fisherman recalled seeing several flares being shot into the air, which is a common distress signal.

He continued on to say that he and his friends picked up the survivors they saw “and lft the dead in the water.”

Stick with the Inquisitr as we update you on the continuing recovery efforts in the Philippine ship collision.

[Image via Shutterstock/egd]