03 July 2015

Banca in Ormoc Capsized, 36 Dead

Kim Nirvana
Another tragedy caused by carelessness and ineptitude happened in the afternoon of 2 July 2015 when MBCA Kim-Nirvana, a motorized outrigger bound for Camotes Island in Cebu province capsized off Ormoc City port.

At least 36 people were confirmed dead while 26 others were reported missing from a list of 173 passengers and 16 crew on board.

Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said 127 people survived after the banca capsized minutes after leaving the port of Ormoc at past 12 noon. He added the coast guard was able to confirmed that there were at least three foreigners who managed to survive.

In a separate interview on GMA News TV's Balita Pilipinas, Capt. Pedro Tinampay, PCG commander in Eastern Visayas, said the boat was not overloaded as it could accommodate a total of 178 passengers.

"Ang mga tao raw ang allegedly nag-move sa isang side," Tinampay said.

Capsized Banca
Meanwhile, citing initial information from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Western Visayas Command, a "News TV Live" said the boat, MV Kim Nirvana-B, capsized 10 minutes after leaving port after it encountered huge waves.

The report also quoted a survivor as saying that the boat was loaded with hundreds of sacks of cement and rice.

In an interview on GMA News TV's Balita Pilipinas, Balilo said search and rescue operations were ongoing to account for the 19 people still missing.

"May mga occasional swell [sa dagat], pero tolerable naman siya... Wala naman pong gale warning sa area, 'yung bagyo nasa taas," he said.

Asked how long the operations will continue, given that it was only a couple of hours to evening, Balilo said, "We'll do our best. Ang instructions dito sa headquarters is for them to continue hangga't kaya nila at i-account 'yung 19 na nawawala pa."

He said it would be premature to make conclusions about the incident as investigation was still ongoing.

"At this point in time hindi pa tayo puwedeng mag-conclude kung ano talagang nangyari. Pagkatapos ng search and rescue, we will get to the bottom of it, tutal ang kapitan at ang crew naman ay hawak na namin, para malaman 'yung nangyari," he said.

In MalacaƱang, deputy presidential spokesperson Usec. Abigail Valte said President Benigno Aquino III “has been apprised” of the boat capsizing incident.