MANILA, Philippines — Eighty-seven persons were injured when a ferry hit an island in Romblon yesterday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
A majority of the injured passengers were brought to the nearest hospital in the province for treatment.
One of them suffered injuries in the head that required stitches, according to PCG spokesperson Vice Admiral Armand Balilo.
The M/V Maria Matilde of the Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc. was headed for the Romblon Port from the municipality of Odiongan when it hit a rock formation on Tablas Island at around 4:30 a.m., Superintendent Imelda Tolentino, spokesperson for the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) police, said.
The PCG-Romblon station received a report of the incident at around 5:20 a.m.
The impact roused the passengers, who thought an explosion had occurred.
Some of them were thrown off their beds.
The ferry was carrying 251 passengers, mostly from Batangas.
Matilde’s captain Bernardino Canapit said visibility in the area was poor due to heavy rains.
The boat’s chief officer, whose name was not immediately available, reportedly told authorities that the vessel’s global positioning system malfunctioned. – With Emmanuel Tupas