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Brownman

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Mass near the Site of the Capsized Ferry
« on: June 27, 2008, 08:18:07 AM »
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Relatives of passengers of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars hear Mass near the site of the capsized ferry as Coast Guard teams continue retrieving bodies off Sibuyan Island yesterday. Photo by EDD GUMBAN

Friday, June 27, 2008

Meanwhile, relatives of the missing passengers of the M/V Princess of the Stars waited in anguish for news of their loved ones, authorities said it may take a month to recover the remains of all the victims. 

Divers struggled yesterday to get deeper inside the capsized ferry with just 15 bodies pulled out so far.

The 24,000-ton Princess of the Stars of Sulpicio Lines sank Saturday night at the height of typhoon “Frank” off Sibuyan Island in Romblon while en route to Cebu from Manila. Only 57 survivors have so far been found out of the more than 800 passengers and crew on the ill-fated ship.

“It will take a month to retrieve all the bodies,” said Coast Guard spokesman Jansen Benjamin.

“Divers have sighted many bodies but have not been able to retrieve them as the entrances and exits are blocked. Some of the cadavers are tangled in wires,” he said. Some 100 American and Filipino divers are involved in the search for corpses inside the ship.

Divers want to make a large hole in the hull to remove the debris but there are fears the ferry could tip over. Poor visibility and strong undercurrents have also hampered the operation. Fears of an oil leak are also hampering recovery efforts. Reports say the ferry could be carrying up to 25,000 liters of oil.

Philippine Navy records show that aside from the 15 bodies extricated from the doomed vessel, another 127 have been plucked from the waters around Sibuyan Island or have washed up on beaches in Masbate and as far as Camarines Norte.

Navy spokesman Edgard Arevalo said on Wednesday a US Navy P-3 Orion aircraft spotted a group of bodies grouped together on one island, but when the boats arrived at the scene, the corpses had drifted apart.

“Retrieval isn’t that quick. You have to be realistic. You have to pick up one after the other. We are picking up the dead and the bodies are already falling apart,” he explained.

He said they were hampered by a lack of equipment, including body bags.

“They dropped some bags by helicopter but they weren’t enough. We still have additional requests for lime, formaline, hand gloves and face masks,” he said.

Difficulties in removing bodies have forced divers to take in heavy weights to help maneuver them out of the vessel.

The bodies have floated to the top of the submerged cabins and compartments in the seven-story ferry, coast guard Commodore Luis Tuason said. Divers are having trouble pulling the bloated bodies through narrow, debris-filled corridors to exit the vessel.

Tuason said coast guard rescuers were instructed yesterday to take photos of the decomposing bodies to help in the identification process. He initially indicated the bodies were being photographed inside the ferry, but later said the process had not yet begun.

The coast guard later rescinded the order on instructions from higher-level officials, apparently due to sensitivities over the issue.

Transportation Undersecretary Elena Bautista, head of the Presidential Task Force Princess of the Stars, said her hopes were buoyed by reports that there were still “air pockets” inside the capsized vessel.

She told reporters during the weekly Usapang Daungan Sa Danarra Hotel in Quezon City that reports from the Ground Zero indicated that a portion of the sunken ship has spaces that may provide temporary shelter to possible survivors.

“I am praying that God will give us miracles, plenty of miracles this time,” Bautista said.

Sulpicio Lines, for its part, said it has deployed another vessel – MV Cagayan Princess – to help in the retrieval operation.

“Sulpicio Lines has not been remiss in its obligations to help all the victims and their families. We are doing everything to ease the burden wrought  by the sinking of the ship due to typhoon Frank,” Vic-Vic Florido, company spokesperson, said in a statement. The shipping firm earlier dispatched one of its vessels, MV Cebu Princess, to help in the retrieval efforts.

The US Navy earlier deployed the USS Stockham and a Hawaii-based battle group led by USS Ronald Reagan to help in the retrieval operation.

Coast Guard Lt. Commander Rogelio Evangelista said that aside from the US battle group, they also need salvage ships to assist them.

“While we welcome any help from our friends and allies, what we really need are salvage ships,” Evangelista said in a disaster briefing at Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday evening.



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grazie7y

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Re: Mass near the Site of the Capsized Ferry
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 08:29:40 AM »
May those who perished in this tragedy rest in peace.  May God comfort the pain these families are experiencing right now. 
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swakee

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Re: Mass near the Site of the Capsized Ferry
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 08:43:48 AM »
Mao jud Graziey... Amen!
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss & ends with tears...

grazie7y

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Re: Mass near the Site of the Capsized Ferry
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 08:50:36 AM »
Last week, one of my closest friends sent me email that she is pregnant with her second child. Couple of days later, she sent me email again telling me that her Uncle was one of the passengers who possibly had perished in this tragedy.  They may have had given up hope to find him alive. 

Brownman

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Re: Mass near the Site of the Capsized Ferry
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 09:05:35 AM »
So sad, murag dunay similarity sa sinking of Titanic way back the year 1912 which resulted the deaths of 1,517 people from 3,547 passengers and crew.


Bambi

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Re: Mass near the Site of the Capsized Ferry
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 01:02:36 PM »
Louya tawon sa mga nabiktima.  Hatagan unta sila ug kalinaw ug padayonon sa kahimayaan sa langit.  :'(



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