Philippines ferry collision kills 52, 68 still missing

18 August 2013 (Last Updated August 18th, 2013 18:30)

A Philippine passenger ferry named MV Thomas Aquinas has sunk after colliding with the cargo ship MV Sulpicio Express 7 on the evening of Friday 16 August, near the central Philippine port of Cebu, killing at least 52 people, with about 68 still missing.

A Philippine passenger ferry named MV Thomas Aquinas has sunk after colliding with the cargo ship MV Sulpicio Express 7 on the evening of Friday 16 August, near the central Philippine port of Cebu, killing at least 52 people, with about 68 still missing.

The 138m-long Thomas Aquinas, operated by Chinese firm 2Go Group, was carrying 723 passengers and 118 crew members, out of whom more than 750 have reportedly been rescued.

According to reports, the 11,000t Thomas Aquinas was entering the pier when the cargo vessel on its way out suddenly collided with the ferry.

"Survivors said hundreds of passengers jumped into the ocean as the ferry started taking water and listing due to a hole ripped in its hull."

At the time of the collision, many of the passengers were asleep and others struggled to find their way off the ship in the dark.

Survivors said hundreds of passengers jumped into the ocean as the ferry started taking water and listing due to a hole ripped in its hull.

The captain of the Thomas Aquinas ordered the ship abandoned when it started listing and then sank in the minutes following the collision.

Philippine government vessels and small fishing boats helped with the rescue, but the operation was disrupted by rough seas.