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28 more survivors recovered from capsized ferry

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 10:01:00 06/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-eight more people were recovered from a ferry that was overturned by strong waves caused by Typhoon “Frank” off the central province of Romblon, bringing the total number of survivors to 32, the commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday.

At the same time, another body was recovered, raising the number of deaths from the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars to five, said Vice Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo.

It was not immediately clear how the 28 survived, except that they were found as a group at a coastal town in Quezon province, said Tamayo.

Tamayo said the survivors could have taken a life raft.

Meanwhile, another fatality was recovered, although the exact location where the body was found was not immediately clear, Tamayo said, citing initial reports from the field.

On Sunday, a day after the M/V Princess of the Stars capsized, four fatalities and four survivors, who were washed ashore, were recovered, Tamayo said in a phone interview.

The ship, carrying 626 passengers and 121 crew, suffered engine trouble and was battered by big waves caused “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen), causing the ship to capsize on Saturday evening.

Asked if there was still hope for more survivors, Tamayo said: “Hindi ko matiyak iyan [I can’t say for certain]. We’ll try to deploy divers later today when the conditions permit.”

Two Coast Guard rescue ships, three Navy vessels, and two tugboats from owner Sulpicio Lines have been searching the area around the ship, Tamayo said.

In one instance on Sunday, rescuers hit a part of the exposed hull with a hammer, to check if survivors were trapped inside, but there was no response, the Coast Guard chief said.

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-06-23T05:33:44+00:00UTC06bUTCMon, 23 Jun 2008 05:33:44 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

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