The Kim Nirvana, a Philippine ferry was a motor banca, a large canoe-shaped boat. Today it rolled to one side when it reversed course after backing out of Ormoc pier, and capsized, killing at least 38 of those aboard the 33-tonne, wooden-hulled vessel. There were officially 173 passengers and 16 crew members aboard.
It sank fast. By afternoon, only a small section of the underbelly could be seen above water. As rescuers found passengers clinging to the hull and swimming for land, they pulled survivors from the sea and carried them ashore in rubber dinghys. They are continuing to search the deep water where this happened 656 feet from the shore.
At least 118 survivors have been rescued. There are perhaps 38 dead and 33 missing , but the numbers are changing. EMTs put the injured on stretchers; 53 were hospitalized. Over two dozen passengers walked home. Relatives of the missing are standing by.
Kim Nirvana’s destination was Pilar Island. Authorities wonder how the accident happened in calm waters, Was the ferry Unbalanced? Overbooked? navigational error? The investigation will tell.
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