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Hundreds missing after ferry sinks in Philippines

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December 23, 1999
Web posted at: 12:11 p.m. HKT (0411 GMT)

MANILA, Philippines (CNN) -- Four hundred people were missing after a passenger ferry sank 10 nautical miles west of Bantayan island in the central Philippines Thursday before dawn local time.

The ferry departed the island of Cebu and was headed for the island of Iloilo when it sank at 5 a.m. local time (4 p.m. Wednesday EST). Two hundred people were rescued from the water after the MV Trans-Asia South Korea inter-island ferry sank, said a spokesman for the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila.

It was not immediately clear what caused the ferry to sink, coast guard spokesman Efren Sabas told CNN. The weather was good at the time it sank, he said.

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Search-and-rescue efforts were continuing, he said, with help from the Philippine coast guard, navy and air force.

Local journalist Mike Cohen said there were reports 189 people had been rescued.

ASIANOW


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