12 Dead After 3 Boats Capsize In Philippines

Manila: At least twelve people have died and three others went missing after three ferry boats capsized in rough seas off the central Philippines, according to local officials.

Sixty-three survivors were rescued from the water on Saturday after huge waves swamped the boats in the Guimaras Strait, regional police chief Rene Pamuspusan told reporters.

All three vessels plied the short 20-minute hop between the port city of Iloilo and the island of Guimaras, with two of the accidents happening at almost the same time, forcing the coastguard to temporarily shut down ferry services.

Services resumed in the afternoon, which was when the third boat capsized, the coastguard said.

“The winds and the waves suddenly became strong,” coastguard spokesman Armand Balilo told reporters, adding that one of the ferry boats, M/B Chichi, was carrying at least 42 passengers.

Ten of the fatalities were onboard the M/B Chichi, which capsized after being battered by strong winds and huge waves.

Another boat, M/B Keizha, reportedly had four crewmen on board, while the third ferry, M/B Jenny, had roughly 30 passengers on board, according to local media reports.

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