Philippines -- At least 40 die in ferry capsize
GMA 7's "Unang Hirit" reported that the ferry was overloaded with passengers when it capsized off the coast of Masbate, southeast of Manila. Forty people, including 12 kids, perished as the MB Don Dexter Cathlyn overturned after being battered by sudden monsoon winds and waves.
Masbate provincial police chief, Sr Supt Reuben Sindac, said that 40 bodies have been recovered, the last one that of a four-year-old boy.
"The recovery of the body of a four-year-old boy brings the number of fatalities to 40," Sindac told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.
At least 13 are believed missing but Sindac said that there may be more as they received reports that some were on board the boat but their names were not on the manifest.
The ship's manifest listed 119 passengers and a crew of six on board, though ferries frequently carry more people than are officially listed.
"We brought the dead to the plaza," said police senior inspector Arturo Estopare, police chief of Dimasalang town, about three miles (five kilometers) from the accident site.
The bodies were lined up and covered, with wailing people checking them for missing loved ones.
Such accidents frequently happen in the Philippine archipelago due to tropical weather, badly maintained passenger boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations, AP report said.
The typhoon-prone country was the scene of the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster when the ferry Dona Paz sank in 1987, killing more than 4,341 people.
In June, the 23,800-ton Princess of the Stars went belly up during a typhoon close to Romblon province, near Masbate, killing more than 800 people on board.