Asia Briefs: Philippine ferry capsize: Death toll rises to 61

Rescuers tie a rope to the capsized vessel MBCA Kim-Nirvana near a port in Ormoc city, central Philippines, on July 3, 2015.
Rescuers tie a rope to the capsized vessel MBCA Kim-Nirvana near a port in Ormoc city, central Philippines, on July 3, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Philippine ferry capsize: Death toll rises to 61

ORMOC CITY • The death toll from a ferry that capsized in the Philippines has risen to 61, the coast guard said yesterday.

Whether the ferry was overloaded will be part of an investigation into last week's disaster off the city of Ormoc, which has seen the boat's owner and crew charged with murder.

The coast guard said 61 people died when the wooden Kim Nirvana capsized, with at least 145 people listed as survivors.

This would mean at least 206 people were onboard, exceeding the 194 the boat was authorised to carry.

The heavy cargo the ferry was transporting may also have played a role in its capsizing, the authorities have said.

Only 173 passengers and 16 crew were listed on the boat's manifest.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Cambodia frees Chinese drone operators

PHNOM PENH • The authorities in Cambodia yesterday released two Chinese men arrested the day before for flying a remote- controlled miniature aircraft over the Royal Palace in the capital. The two tourists are Mr Peng Zheliang, 25, from Hunan province and Mr Wang Minglei, 24, from Jiangsu province.

They entered Cambodia late last month and were due to return home last night.

Mr Chhay Sinarith, director of the Internal Security Department, said the two men were made to sign a contract promising not to do such a thing again. Mr Pok Sothy, chief of the Royal Palace Protection Unit, said the men flew a camera-toting drone into the Royal Palace and were arrested by the palace police early last Saturday morning.

XINHUA


Life term for Myanmar man who planted bomb

YANGON • A Myanmar man has been sentenced to life in prison for planting a bomb that exploded two years ago inside a luxury Yangon hotel, wounding an American woman, state media reported yesterday.

Myanmar was rattled by a series of small blasts in October 2013 which appeared to target tourist spots as the emergent nation experienced an influx of foreign visitors following its switch two years earlier from junta rule and the subsequent lifting of many Western sanctions.

Yangon's western district court last Friday convicted Saw Myint Lwin, 29, of planting two devices in the commercial hub, one of which was a small bomb that exploded inside the Traders Hotel, the Mirror newspaper reported.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2015, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: Philippine ferry capsize: Death toll rises to 61'. Print Edition | Subscribe