Rescuers retrieved 2 more bodies in Cebu mishap, death toll climbs to 26

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MANILA, 17Aug2013 (PNA) – The Philippine Coast Guard on Saturday said two more bodies were recovered in connection with the Cebu sea mishap.

As of 9:10 a.m., the PCG headquarters in Manila said the total number of killed in the sea tragedy has now reached 26, with 629 passengers rescued, while 215 are still missing.

Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr., PCG vice commandant for operations, said among those missing were two of four sea marshals—one from the Philippine Navy, and another from the Philippine National Police – who provide security to travelers on board passengers ships.

Lt. Jim Alagao, AFP Central Command spokesperson, said that Navy and Coast Guard teams are still conducting search-and-rescue missions as of this posting.

Alago said that diving operations are hampered by poor visibility underwater.

The Philippine Coast Guard earlier deployed teams to the site of a deadly vessel collision in Cebu Friday night, to check for and contain possible oil spills.

On Friday night, the passenger ship MV Saint Thomas Aquinas 1 collided with the MV Sulpicio Express 7 cargo vessel off Cebu. (PNA)

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