MANILA At least four people have died and another 81 were missing after a ferry carrying 251 people capsized off the east coast of the Philippines, the coastguard said on Thursday.
Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Armand Balilo added that 166 people were rescued from the vessel, which had departed from the north of the central province of Quezon for the island of Polillo on Thursday morning.
At around 11:00 am, authorities received an emergency call from the ferry, which has been identified as MV Mercraft 3.
Balilo said that the ferry had 251 people on board, with a capacity to carry up to 286 people.
Coast guard authorities were coordinating with the Philippine navy in rescue operations.
Dozens of people die in the Philippines each year in accidents at sea caused by bad weather, failure to comply with safety regulations, poor vessel maintenance and overloading.