Bodies retrieved from Philippine ferry capsized in typhoon

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Map showing San Fernando within the province of Romblon.

Divers from the combined teams of the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard were able to penetrate the interior of the submerged sections of the MV Princess of the Stars.

Spokesman for the Navy confirmed fears that there were several passengers of the ill-fated passenger ferry who were trapped when the ferry listed and over turned at around noon of June 22.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo of the Navy said that there could have been survivors initially, passengers who were trapped within a pocket of air but the rescue team were only able to reach and enter the ferry, almost three days since it capsized.

The length of time for any survivor trapped inside the capsized ship to have breathable air would be limited.

Four bodies were retrieved and the team with the help of specialists and salvage teams from the USNS Stockham of the United States Navy, supported by the resources of the US carrier group USS Ronald Reagan will return on Wednesday morning to attempt to stabilize the ship and retrieve more bodies.

Philippine authorities are concerned that boring a hole or disturbing the ferry's present location could cause the ship to slide down into deeper waters or cause an environmental damage to the area due to the fuel the ship carries.

The ferry capsized some 500 meters off the coast of the town of San Fernando in Romblon province.

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