MANILA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that at least seven people died and eight others were reported missing after two ferry boats sank at around 12:15 p.m. on Saturday in the central Philippines.
Coast guard spokesman Captain Armand Balilo said in a text message to Xinhua that 31 people have so far been rescued. He said the boats have more than 40 passengers and crew on board at the time of the accident.
Balilo said the boats named Cheche and Keziah were transiting Farola Wharf in Iloilo to Jordan Wharf in Guimaras when they were battered by sudden strong winds and sank.
Another news report quoting the PCG in the Visayas region said the Cheche boat was carrying 43 passengers and four crew members while motorboat Keziah had no passengers onboard but had four crew members.
Search and rescue operations are underway.
Meantime, Balilo said the PCG monitored another boat accident in the same region.
"Passengers rescued are now being accounted onboard (the third boat). Still checking if there are missing," he added.