29 missing as ship capsizes in Philippines

Manila: At least 29 people were missing after a roll-on and roll-off vessel with 84 people on board capsized off central Philippine province of Leyte Saturday night, the state disaster relief agency said Sunday.

Among the 84 on board the vessel, 55 people have been rescued, search and rescue operations are ongoing and being conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Emergency Response Services of Surigao City, the National Disaster Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said, Xinhua reported.

The ship coming from Liloan in Southern Leyte and enroute to Lipata of Surigao City encountered "steering casualty".

It can't make a left or right turn, and may have crashed, said Jim Alagao, spokesperson of the armed forces Central Command.

Passengers and crew abandoned the ship at 9.20 p.m. Responding ship Maharlika-4 arrived in Lipata Port at 11 p.m., carrying 32 survivors. Meanwhile, foreign vessel MV Lara Venture rescued 18 people, and MT Martin rescued five people.

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