49 persons hurt as fastcraft hits barge at Mactan Channel

CEBU CITY — At least 49 persons were injured, four seriously, when a fastcraft from Ormoc City bound for Cebu City hit s barge at the north entrance of the Mactan Channel at past 10 p.m. on Saturday, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officials said Sunday.

Commander Dionlett Ampil of PCG Cebu Station said of the 49 persons injured, 45 have gone home after being treated for minor injuries, while four remain confined at the state-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.

Ampil said the 49 injured persons were passengers of the fast ferry MV Barquiel, which is owned by 2Go.

Ampil said MV Barquiel, with 90 persons on board, figured in a mishap with SMC Barge 8, which is owned by San Miguel Corporation, while negotiating its entrance at the north side of the Mactan Channel, towards Pier 4 in Cebu City.

Ampil said SMC Barge 8 was being towed by a tugboat, PSC Matatag.

The injured passengers were rescued by vessels owned by 2Go and brought to Pier 4 in Cebu City.

They were immediately treated of their injuries by waiting emergency personnel from the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) and other first responders.

Nagiel Bañacia, Cebu CDRRMO chief, the other responders were the Emrgency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF), Cebu City Quick response Team (QRT), Cebu City Ambulance Services, Red Cross, Bantay Mandaue, USCERT, REAVO Cebu Chapter, and RAPID, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Coast Guard, All-Terrain Medical Relief Organization (AMRO), Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), Cebu Ports Authority (CPA), Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime and Philippine Navy (PN).

Ampil said the skippers of the two vessels which figured in a sea mishap along Mactan Channel have been directed to submit their respective marine protest within 24 hours.

Ampil said he will also set this week a meeting with the ship captains of MV Barquiel and SMC Barge 8. PNA-northboundasia.com