900 Pulled From Sinking Filipino Ferry, 60 Missing

Five dead, 63 missing after fiasco in Philippines
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 6, 2009 11:10 AM CDT
In this photo released by the Philippine Naval Forces Western Mindanao, passengers hang on the port side of the tilted Superferry 9 off Zamboanga del Norte province, Philippines, Sunday Sept. 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Philippine Navy Forces Western Mindanao)
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(Newser) – A ferry carrying nearly 1,000 passengers sank in the southern Philippines early this morning, leaving at least five dead and more than 60 missing. The Superferry 9 began to list before dawn about 9 miles off Zamboanga del Norte province, rousing terrified passengers from their sleep and throwing some into the water, a coast guard spokesman reported.

Rescuers transferred 900 of 968 passengers and crewmen to two nearby commercial ships, a navy gunboat, and a fishing boat. A search was under way for more than 60  missing, who may have drifted with their life jackets or have been rescued but were not yet listed as survivors. "We really hope they're just unaccounted for due to the confusion," he said.