Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI) wraps up Cebu ferry investigation, temporary burial of unidentified requested

br> Three weeks after the tragic sea accident in Lauis Ledge, the Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI) has wrapped up its investigation.

As of yesterday the total casualties of the ship collision has risen to 114 while 23 are still missing.

An official of 2Go Travel, owner of the ill-fated MV St. Thomas Aquinas said that the vessel which would siphon off the remain fuel of the ship will arrive from Japan today.

Lt. Johonsan Fabilane, a member of the SBMI told Cebu Daily News that they have wrapped up the fact finding mission yesterday. “We are now in the process of drafting the recommendations,” Fabilane said.

After the SBMI’s recommendations are finalized, it will be submitted to the Board of Marine Inquiry chaired by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena, who in turn will submit it to Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.


Meanwhile, the undertakers that were given temporary custody of the recovered unidentified remains of the ill-fated ship’s passengers has asked the Cebu City government to allow them to temporarily bury bodies.

Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes manager Bong Ebo said they have identified 64 of the retrieved bodies, 50 are still unidentified. Sixty-one of the identified bodies have also been given to their families and relatives.

Identified through their dental records yesterday were two crewmembers of the MV St. Thomas Aquinas, 29 year old Melanie Diaz and 22 year old Gerald Briones.

Ebo added that they are not asking the Cebu City government to allow them to bury the identified victims. “The remaining cadavers which are placed in Cosmopolitan pose a health hazard,” he said.

He however assured that the cadavers will be properly marked for proper exhumation when DNA matching results arrive from the PNP DNA laboratory in Camp Crame.

Members of the Disaster Victim Identification Unit of the PNP Crime Laboratory are still stationed at the building’s lobby. The group is still collecting buccal swabs of the relatives of those who are still missing and unidentified for DNA cross matching.

Two victims who are suffering from broken and misaligned bones in their left shoulder and left foot are still confined in a hospital.

Saturday 7 September 2013


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