Nilanjana Bhowmick – AHN News Writer
Manila, Philippines (AHN) – An inquiry into the ferry disaster that claimed almost 800 lives opened on Wednesday.
Rescuers gave up hopes of finding any more survivors from the seven-story Princess of the Stars, which wrecked on Saturday in bad weather caused by Typhoon Fengshen.
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, who is in Washington for a state visit, said that the government is holding Sulpicio Lines, the ferry operator, accountable for the tragedy.
She also said that the inquiry is aimed at determining the cause of the accident so that such tragedies can be prevented in the future.
Out of more than 850 on board the ship only 57 people survived.
Ferry operator Sulpicio Lines and maritime experts have been called to the inquiry. The inquiry will also try to determine whether the ship was in sailing condition.
It will also probe the question as to why the ship was allowed to sail despite a typhoon warning.
The rescue effort continued on Wednesday in case there was a chance of finding any survivors.