MANILA, 19Aug2013 (PNA) – The death toll in the sinking of the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas 1 reached 38 Sunday.
Earlier, technical divers from the Navy and Coast Guard had recovered five bodies from the wreck which lies in a depth of 110 feet of water.
Coast Guard Cebu Station chief Cmdr. Winiel Azcuna said that 82 were still missing as of 2:45 p.m.
At least 750 passengers have also been rescued, it added.
This can be broken down into 644 passengers and 106 crew members.
Azcuna added that the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas I’s captain was among those rescued.
Efforts are also underway to contain the oil spill detected off Talisay and Cordoba, he said.
On Friday night, the passenger ship M/V St. Thomas Aquinas 1 sank after colliding with the cargo ship M/V Sulpicio Express 7 in Cebu waters.
The Maritime Industry Authority has suspended the fleets of 2GO, owner of St. Thomas Aquinas 1, and Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp., owner of Sulpicio Express 7, pending an inspection of the two companies’ ships. (PNA)