Death toll in Ormoc sea tragedy rises to 61

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2015 11:26 AM | Updated as of Jul 05 2015 08:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from the ferry that capsized off Ormoc City, M/B Kim Nirvana, has risen to 61, the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said Sunday morning.

Three more bodies were found floating on Saturday night – those of two women and a child.

Meanwhile, the remains of the victims are now being transported to Camotes Island, their supposed destination before the tragic incident that occurred last Thursday.

From the funeral homes, the coffins were brought to the Ormoc Port where they were loaded early morning Sunday to Philippine Coast Guard Ship 004 BRP Batangas.

About 45 coffins are on board the ship together with their relatives who will bring them to their respective homes in the island.

Aside from those who perished, also on board the ship are survivors of the tragedy who have spent the last four days either in a local hospital, the funeral homes, or at the departure section of the Ormoc Port.

Most of the victims are from Camotes Island.

A short liturgical prayer and blessings before BRP Batangas set sail towards Camotes.

The owner and captain of M/B Kim Nirvana are already behind bars after criminal charges were filed against them by the Ormoc City Police Saturday.

Ormoc City Police Chief Supt. Ferdinand Garay said multiple murder charges were filed against the owner, Joge Bung Zarco, and boat captain, Warren Oliverio, in connection with the sinking of M/B Kim Nirvana.

A total of 19 people were charged, including ship operator Joge Bong Zarco, captain Warren Oliviero, and all 17 crew members, according to regional police chief Asher Dolina. All members of crew survived and are now in police custody. -- Report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News