Philippines ferry carrying 251 capsizes

Philippines ferry carrying 251 capsizes

A ferry carrying 251 people has capsized in stormy seas off the east coast of the Philippines, the coastguard says.

A spokesman said a number of casualties had been reported. Huge waves are said to have caused the boat to overturn.

Reports say local boats have already rescued some passengers on board the vessel near the island of Polillo.

Rescue boats and helicopters sent to the area have been hampered by bad weather, officials say.

A local emergency services official, Juanito Diaz, said initial reports suggested the ferry, which has not been named, “sustained a big hole that caused it to capsize”.

“The rescuers are still scouring the water in search of other possible passengers,” he said, the Philippines Inquirer reports.

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