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A rescued passenger disembarks at Binangonan port after the boat carrying him and dozens of others overturned in Rizal province, Philippines.

PHOTO BY SUPPLIED


Passenger panic causes Philippine boat to sink: 26 dead, search for missing continues

Rescuers continued a search for missing passengers on Friday (July 28) after a small Philippine boat capsized when panicked passengers crowded to one side of the vessel following strong winds.

Officials said it remained unclear how many people were aboard the M/B Princess Aya, which capsized on Thursday in Laguna de Bay in Rizal province east of Manila. Search efforts are underway in Laguna Lake, southeast of Manila.

Coast guard and police said search and rescue efforts had resumed after a pause on Thursday night. As of Friday, officials said there were 26 people dead and 40 others rescued.

Rear Admiral Armando Balilo, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, said that the boat overturned after people ran in panic to one side of the boat as strong winds pummeled the vessel.

The boat was designed to carry a maximum of 42 passengers, but initial reports said the capsized boat was overloaded, and passengers were not wearing life vests. The Coast Guard said that an investigation is underway. MFD/Expat Media


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