At least 38 passengers of a ferry in the Philippines have lost their lives when their vessel overturned in rough waters, the government says.
The ferry, with 173 people on board, keeled over in rough waters in the central Philippines on Thursday, the coast guard said.
According to Ciriaco Tolibao, with Manila’s disaster risk reduction and management office, 53 survivors have already been rescued and taken to local hospitals.
About two dozen others rescued reportedly managed to walk away unharmed.
Local reports say 27 people are missing.
The vessel, named Kim Nirvana, was heading from the central port city of Ormoc in Leyte Island to the island of Camotes, located east of Cebu, when it capsized, the coast guard office in Manila said.
Coast guard Lieutenant Christopher Ganet said the vessel was barely 200 meters from the shore line when it capsized.
The Philippines archipelago has witnessed a number of maritime disasters involving poorly-maintained vessels.
In August 2013, 114 people lost their lives after a ferry collided with a cargo ship.
A total of 4,375 people also lost their lives in 1987 when the Dona Paz ferry crashed into a tanker, making it the worst maritime disaster in the world in peacetime.