Authorities have charged the owner and crew of a ferry with murder after the vessel capsized in the Philippines killing at least 59 people.
A coast guard official announced the death toll and said so far 141 survivors had been rescued.
The 36-tonne ferry overturned in choppy waters minutes after leaving the port of Ormoc City, on one of the archipelago’s eastern isands. It was reportedly carrying heavy construction materials and bags of rice, as well as passengers.
Amy Salinas said she was still waiting for news of her relatives.
“My sister is still missing. There were four of them (on board). Three children and their mother. One child survived. We are hoping to still see my sister – dead or alive,” she explained.
Those rescued say the ferry seemed to make a sharp right-turn before being hit by a large wave.
According to a a coast guard spokesperson, panicked passengers rushed to the right-hand-side of the vessel, leading it to tilt and capsize.
The Philippines has a poor maritime safety record, with scores reported dead in ferry accidents each year.