A woman who was a native of Bohol died while 15 other crew members were rescued after a cargo vessel capsized off the Port of Ormoc City past midnight on Saturday.
Seaman Second Class Ryan Abalahin of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Ormoc City said the M/V Lite Ferry 3 started to capsize several minutes after arriving at the port.
Authorities were still investigating the incident but initial findings indicated that the vessel took in water causing some of the cargo to move and the vessel to tilt to its side.
“Based sa report, napasukan ng tubig tapos bigla nalang lumubog, tumagilid tapos nagsubmerge at lumubog,” said Abalahin.
He added that the vessel may have taken in water while travelling from Cebu City as waters off Ormoc City were calm during the incident.
The PCG, the Ormoc City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and the Philippine National Police immediately deployed teams to rescue the crew members of the ill-fated vessel.
The lone fatality, Racquel Alo, 33, of Balilihan town was initially reported missing but was found inside the submerged vessel two hours after it started to capsize.
Alo who was the vessel’s purser was found in the lower level of the vessel and was believed to have been pinned down by cargo.
“Ang sabi nila is yung babae na namatay nadaganan ng mga cargo, kasi nung nakita siya nadaganan siya ng kargamento,” said Abalahin.
According to Abalahin, Alo’s remains have been taken to the St. Peter Funeral Home in Ormoc City.
Meanwhile, the other crew members were uninjured and were taken to a hotel to rest. (R. Tutas)