Over 800 rescued from Philippines ferry

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The Independent Online

At least three people drowned and another 80 are missing after a ferry sank off the Philippines.

Rescuers plucked more than 800 terrified passengers from the tilting ship before it sank.

Coast guard chief Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said 880 of 964 passengers and crewmen on board the Superferry 9 were transferred to two ships after the ferry began to list off Zamboanga del Norte province before dawn.

The fate of more than 80 people is unknown as a sea search continues.

The cause of the accident is not yet known.

Aboitiz Transport System, which owns the steel-hulled ferry, said the ship's captain initially ordered everyone to abandon the ship as a precautionary step.

The National Disaster Co-ordinating Council said there were reports that the ferry listed due to a hole in the hull.