A Philippine ship collision has resulted in the death of 34 people so far. The M/V St. Thomas Aquinas, a passenger ferry, sunk after colliding with the M/V Sulpicio Express 7 cargo vessel in Cebu province. According to United Press International on August 18, 2013, at least 85 are still missing of the combined 870 people that were onboard both vessels.
Coast guard officials said that before the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas sank, it was loaded with 31,700 gallons of bunker oil, 5,283 gallons of lube oil and 5,283 gallons of diesel.
The oil slick from the Philippine ship collision affected 7,413 acres of shoreline in the town of Cordova. Fumes are a health risk and many inhabitants are having trouble breathing. Mangrove trees in the area will be destroyed unless the oil is cleaned up within 30 to 90 days.
The Philippine ship collision is considered to be a freak accident and is now under investigation. Both vessels were following the same route, yet neither was in radio communication with the other. The passenger ferry sunk in matter of only 10 minutes. The Rescue operations continue in the search for the missing.
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