A Philippine court has ordered the owners of a passenger ferry that capsized as it sailed into a typhoon seven years ago to pay about $5.47 million to the families of dozens of passengers who perished.

The Manila Regional Trial Court ruling made public Wednesday found Sulpicio Lines Inc., which operated the MV Princess of the Stars, negligent for sailing the vessel through the path of the storm.

The ferry capsized as it was battered by huge waves and fierce winds on June 21, 2008, off the central Philippine island of Sibuyan. Only 56 of around 900 passengers and crew survived.

Sulpicio also owned the Dona Paz, which sank in December 1987, killing 4,340 people, after colliding with a fuel tanker in the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster.