MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from the collision between a cargo vessel and a ferry in waters off Talisay City in Cebu has climbed to 75, the Philippine Coast Guard said Thursday.
As of 9 a.m., the agency reported on its website that there are now 74 casualties while 45 are still missing.
A total of 750 passengers have been rescued.
The M/V St. Thomas Aquinas 1 of 2Go Shipping sank on Friday night after colliding with the Sulpicio Express Siete outside a major port in Talisay.
The incident has caused a massive oil spill, affecting mangrove plantations and fish pens, as well as the livelihood of fishermen in the Municipality of Cordova.
Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III explained that the entire Province of Cebu was declared under a state of calamity in anticipation of the spread of the oil spill to other areas outside Cordova and Talisay City.
The oil spill has affected 13 barangays in Cordova as well as fish pens and 500 hectares of mangrove plantations.