Saturday, August 17, 2013

Canada sends sympathies for victims of Cebu sea tragedy - GMA News

Canada on Saturday night relayed its sympathies to victims of Friday night's collision between the passenger vessel MV Saint Thomas Aquinas 1 and the cargo ship MV Sulpicio Express 7 in Cebu waters.

In a statement, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Christopher Thornley also commended the emergency services workers and rescuers who are searching for the missing.

"On behalf of the Embassy of Canada, I would like to express our deep concern and condolences to the families of the victims of the M.V. Thomas Aquinas marine accident. Our thoughts go out to all of those affected by the ferry accident, and we would like to convey our support and appreciation to the emergency services workers and rescuers searching for the missing and injured," he said.

Earlier, the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines said it is standing by for developments surrounding Friday night's maritime tragedy.

In a post on its Twitter account, the embassy said it is ready to provide consular assistance to any Canadian citizen affected by the incident.

Canadian nationals may contact the embassy's 24-hour Emergency Watch and Response Center in Ottawa toll-free at 1-800-1-110-0226(landline only) or 1 613 996-8885 or by e-mail at sos@international.gc.ca, it said.

They may also call the Embassy at (02) 857-9000, remain on the line and the call will be transferred to Ottawa.

At least 31 people were confirmed dead from Friday night's incident.

A report on state-run Philippines News Agency quoted Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya as saying their initial findings showed there were foreigners on board the St. Thomas Aquinas, but added they were all safe.

However, he said a New Zealand national is confined in a hospital in Cebu.

Earlier, the United Kingdom said it is ready to offer assistance to British nationals who may have been among the victims.

"We are aware of the shipping accident off the port of Cebu. We are in touch with local authorities. We stand ready to offer Consular assistance to any British nationals that may have been involved in this incident," UK embassy Chargé d'Affaires Stephen Lysaght said.

Lysaght said concerns about UK citizens may be relayed to the embassy at +632 858 2200. — LBG, GMA News


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