MANILA, Philippines – Divers wriggled into a capsized ferry Tuesday and found only bodies — including that of a crewman still clutching a radio — three days after some 850 people went down with the vessel during a powerful typhoon, officials said.
Hundreds of people were feared trapped when the ship suddenly tilted and went belly up Saturday at the height of the powerful storm that left dozens of people dead in flooded communities in the central Philippines.
Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo indicated it was unlikely there were survivors from the ferry. He said the ship’s interior was too dark to determine how many bodies were there and lighting was being brought in.
“Most of the bodies were floating inside. They were trapped when the seven-story ship suddenly tilted and capsized,” he told dzBB radio.
Arevalo said it was possible some passengers could have survived initially, but the roiling seas from had kept rescuers at bay too long and suffocation may have claimed some lives.
He said some of the bodies had life vests but many passengers apparently hesitated to jump into the “turbulent waters” before the ship capsized because “it happened too sudden.” Survivors said the ship listed and went down in a half-hour or less.
“If there are survivors, they could only be found in the forward portion, because if the vessel is no longer watertight, water would enter all its spaces that are submerged,” Arevalo said.
SOURCE: Yahoo News