Boat cap­sizes in Philip­pines; at least five dead and one miss­ing

The China Post - - SPORTS -

A pas­sen­ger boat over­loaded with 55 peo­ple and heavy cargo has cap­sized in the south­ern Philip­pines, leav­ing at least five dead and one miss­ing, of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

Coast guard spokesman Wil­liam Ar­quero said it was un­clear if more are miss­ing be­cause the un­reg­is­tered ves­sel left Jolo Is­land for nearby Ta­pul Is­land with­out in­spec­tion and clear­ance from au­thor­i­ties. Also on board were 100 bags of ce­ment and as­sorted cargo.

He said 14 sur­vivors res­cued by three pass­ing boats were brought to a hos­pi­tal while an un­known num­ber of sur­vivors were taken to Ta­pul.

Ac­cord­ing to sur­vivors, the boat left Jolo Thurs­day morn­ing and cap­sized sev­eral hours later, he said. The coast guard learned of the in­ci­dent only on Thurs­day evening.

"It's pos­si­ble there are more miss­ing be­cause we have no way of check­ing," Ar­quero said.

He said there were no gale warn­ings in the area, and it was likely the boat was not able to with­stand the waves be­cause it was over­loaded.

Mil­i­tary spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said a Navy boat was sent to the area to help, and that five of the pas­sen­gers were found dead. an­gry over land, wa­ter and other lo­cal is­sues oc­cu­pied the plat­form of a high-speed train sta­tion Thurs­day night, shut­ting down ser­vice for about half an hour.

A state­ment from the city of Pun­ing said po­lice ar­rested 22 peo­ple in re­la­tion to the protest, and no one was in­jured. The state­ment said pro­test­ers cut through barbed wire, let­ting 40 of them take over the sta­tion.

Pro­test­ers started pe­ti­tion­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties over their con­cerns in Septem­ber, the state­ment said, and of­fi­cials had been work­ing to re­solve the dis­putes. The state­ment didn't spec­ify what those con­cerns were.

The pro­test­ers in­ter­rupted ser­vice from the man­u­fac­tur­ing hub of Shen­zhen north to the city of Xi­a­men.

China sees thou­sands of small protests yearly over ev­ery­thing from la­bor griev­ances to land dis­putes. ices. More se­ri­ous charges such as gang­ster­ism and hu­man traf­fick­ing could be com­ing, au­thor­i­ties said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Po­lice said the al­leged vic­tims re­ceived as­sis­tance from a crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion to en­ter the coun­try un­der false pre­tenses be­fore be­ing ex­ploited and made to work un­der ap­palling con­di­tions. Af­ter sev­eral weeks or months, they were re­turned home.

Charged ear­lier this week were Le Yu, 38, and Anyang Cui, 26, both of Mon­treal, and Kai Chen, 37, and Nan Wu, 33, from sub­ur­ban Notre-Dame-de-L'Ile-Per­rot.

Jeongh­wan Seo, 34, of Toronto, was ar­rested late Wed­nes­day.

Po­lice say that leaves Me­lanie Wil­liamsJohn­son, 20, of Mon­treal, as the last sus­pect still on the run.

Po­lice Constable Erique Gasse said 500 is a con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate for the num­ber of al­leged vic­tims and that the po­lice probe be­gan in Jan­uary 2014.

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