MANILA, Philippines – A ferry with at least 700 people on board sunk near a port in the central Philippines after colliding with a cargo vessel. There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties.
The Associated Press is reporting at least five people dead, and hundreds of others rescued, but Reuters has reported 13 deaths in the incident.
A coast guard officer told the AP at least five people are confirmed dead, and more than 250 have been rescued. She says authorities are checking on the number of others who had been taken to hospitals.
Reuters says as many as 690 people have been rescued, but a Coast Guard spokesperson said there may be more unaccounted for.
``We don't know if there are still people missing,'' Rear Admiral Luis Tuason told a local radio station early Saturday, referring to a discrepancy between the ferry's manifest and the actual number of people known to have died or been saved.
A passenger told a radio station that some people were trapped, and that he saw bodies in the water.
Two coast guard vessels and other nearby ships were involved in the rescue operation, not far from the port of Cebu.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.