17 Aug 2013

Philippines ferry sinks killing at least 26

5:24 pm on 17 August 2013

At least 26 people have died and more than 200 are missing after a ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank off the Philippines.

The MV Thomas Aquinas was in a collision with the cargo vessel on Friday evening near the central city of Cebu, officials said.

The ship was carrying 752 passengers and 118 crew according to latest coast guard figures.

Coastguard and naval vessels helped by local fishing boats have rescued more than 570 people so far.

The BBC reports the incident took place around 2 kilometres from the shore.

The ferry was sailing into the port at Cebu - the country's second biggest city - when it collided with the cargo ship travelling the other way at about 21:00 local time.

Survivors said hundreds of passengers jumped into the ocean as the ferry began taking on water and listing. The crew distributed life jackets.

Many of the passengers were asleep and others struggled to find their way in the dark, reports said.