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24 Die, 130 Missing as Inter-Island Ship Sinks in Philippines

Associated Press

An inter-island ship carrying 414 passengers and crew sank off the coast of Leyte Island early Thursday, and at least 24 passengers perished, a shipping company official said. Another 130 people were reported missing.

Bob Go Thong, general manager of Carlos A. Go Thong Shipping Co., said the 1,090-ton M.V. Josefina sank in about 100 feet of water.

Thong said he did not know what caused the sinking, which occurred before the vessel was to take on a cargo of copper products at Isabela, a Leyte port 350 miles southeast of Manila. The vessel was used to carry both cargo and passengers from Cebu to Manila, stopping at Isabela, Palompon and Roxas City.

Thong said the vessel left Cebu on Wednesday afternoon carrying 364 passengers and a crew of 50. He said all crew members had apparently survived the sinking and 210 passengers were rescued by passing vessels. Some passengers were able to reach shore on their own, he said.

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