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UPDATE: 24 Dead in Cebu Ferry Sinking, Search and Rescue Operations Ongoing

As of this morning, 24 are confirmed dead and over 200 more are still missing hours after the ship collision off the waters in Talisay City, Cebu, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) report as of 11 a.m. today.

Meanwhile, 629 were rescued from the sunk M/V Saint Thomas Aquinas.

At around 9:00 p.m. last night, passenger ship M/V St. Thomas Aquinas collided with cargo ship M/V Sulpicio Express 7 in the vicinity of Lawis Ledge, Talisay City in Cebu. M/V St. Thomas Aquinas, bound for Cebu, was carrying 752 passengers and has a crew of 118. Meanwhile, M/V Sulpicio Express 7, bound for Davao, has a crew of 38 which are all safe and accounted for following the incident.

According to the NDRRMC, over 300 of the rescued passengers are staying in Pier 4, Cebu City where they are given medical assistance and hot meals. Other survivors opted to stay in a chapel in Brgy. Tanke, Talisay City.

The Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, local goverment emergency responders, and volunteers are still conducting search and rescue for the missing passengers as of posting time.