TWO of the 58 injured passengers aboard MV Braquiel of 2Go Shipping Lines, which collided with a barge Saturday night, Feb. 18, are mulling filing charges and asking for cash assistance from the management.
In separate interviews with SunStar Cebu yesterday, the passengers lamented that they have yet to hear from 2Go since the accident.
“I was not able to report for work because my entire body is aching. I can hardly move and my family is fearing for my health. I haven’t had any x-ray examinations. I’ve thought of claiming whatever insurance I could avail myself of,” said Violy Baz.
Mark (real name withheld), on the other hand, said he will go to the Shipping Line’s office to bring their concern.
“I think that if none of us will address the issue, 2Go will just ignore us. There were many of us who were hurt,” he said.
Baz sustained deep lashes on various parts of her body, while Mark suffered from several fractures.
Both said they will be filing reckless imprudence resulting to injury against 2Go should the latter continue to neglect their obligations to the victims.
“If providing the victims a financial aid is mandated by the law, then we won’t hesitate. We will seek legal assistance if they will not heed our demand for assistance,” Baz said.
Some 90 passengers were aboard the ferry boat when it hit a barge under the Mandaue-Mactan bridge, 10 minutes away from Pier 4 in Cebu City.
The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council reported a total of 58 injured passengers, including Ferry Capt. Reniero Maurin, while four severely injured passengers were rushed to nearby hospitals in the city.
The Supercat Ship Management Division yesterday said the captain and crew of Mv St. Braquiel found it too late to maneuver moments before they hit Barge SMC 8, which was unmanned and unlighted at the time of the incident.
In a press conference, Engr. Angelito Salvio, general manager of Supercat, explained that at 10:05 pm, St. Braquiel approached the bridge at a safe speed with the master focusing on steering the passage between the two posts of the bridge with the chief engineer, chief mate and another crew acting as lookouts.
They were focused on the two side-posts underneath the bridge, which were both narrow and shallow on both sides.
Salvio said that at 10:10 p.m., one lookout, however, sighted an unlighted and unmanned boat dead ahead swinging towards the vessel and quickly informed the ship master, who instantly initiated the engine full stop and evasive maneuver. Unfortunately, St. Braquiel’s starboard bow hit the postside quarter of the unidentified barge.
“The ship master then activated the emergency response procedure and directed the cabin crew to proceed with crowd and crisis management and attend to the injured,” Salvio said.
Salvio believed that the barge, which was towed by the tugboat, swung because of the strong water current.
Salvio said they will shoulder all the medical expenses of the injured passengers who were hospitalized.
He said that those who were already discharged from the hospital, but still feel the paid and needed medical assistance may go to their office for assistance.
Salvio added that his company is planning to file cases against the owner of the barge and the tugboat, but they have to wait for the result of the investigations being conducted by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).