23 dead, six missing as boat capsizes in Philippine lake

The accident happened in the early afternoon at Laguna lake, near Manila, hours after Typhoon Doksuri had swept out of the northern Philippines, News.Az reports citing AFP. 

"Some survivors begged us to rescue those trapped beneath the boat," resident Monica de la Cruz, who watched the rescue effort off the municipality of Binangonan, told AFP.

"They were crying and some of them were injured."

Cruz said the accident took place following a "sudden gust of wind, big waves and rain", with locals initially too afraid to assist, fearing they would be "dragged down as well".

The wooden outrigger "encountered strong winds prompting all passengers to panic" and move to one side of the vessel, the coast guard said in a statement.

"The boat had clearance to sail," coast guard spokesman Rear Admiral Armando Balilo told reporters, downplaying speculation the typhoon had caused the accident.

The passenger boat was making its regular run from a Binangonan port to the island of Talim in the middle of the lake, municipality rescue official Kenneth Cirados told AFP.

Rescuers retrieved 23 bodies from the water and there were 40 survivors, he said.

Six people remained missing with the search set to resume Friday.

By nightfall, rescuers had righted the boat and dragged it close to shore, where its yellow hull sat in shallow water.

A broken motorcycle cargo and soiled pieces of tarp were draped over it.


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