MANILA, Philippines – The number of bodies recovered from MV Princess of the Stars, which capsized off Romblon province last June, has climbed to 199, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Monday.
Maritime authorities estimated that at least 500 passengers had been trapped inside the ship.
Coast Guard commandant Vice-Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said they will try to recover all the bodies before they proceed to phase 3 of their operations, which is the removal of the ship’s wreck from Romblon waters.
The retrieval operation for the victim’s remains is being done jointly by the coast guard with Harbor Star, a local private firm that was contracted by Sulpicio Lines Inc.
“The Task Force Princess of the Stars will have a meeting to see if the retrieval operation for the remains had been completed before we could proceed with phase 3,” Tamayo said.
MV Princess of the Stars, owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines Inc., capsized off the waters of Sibuyan Island in Romblon at the height of typhoon “Frank” last June 21.
The 24,000-ton passenger vessel was carrying more than 800 passengers and crewmembers at the time of the incident. – GMANews.TV