The Philippines stopped the search for hundreds of bodies believed to be aboard a capsized ferry on Friday after authorities learned that 10 tons of toxic pesticide were on board. Angry officials said Sulpicio Lines, owner of Princess of the Stars, would be held accountable for not alerting them to the 400 boxes of endosulfan.
Exposure to the deadly chemical, which is highly restricted, can cause nausea, convulsions and death. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as highly toxic.
Vice President Noli de Castro said that had the ferry disaster task force been told earlier about the toxic cargo, divers would not have been sent to the vessel in search of bodies. "This should not even be aboard a passenger ship," he said at a news conference...
The discovery of the chemical was a grim reminder of how standards are flouted in the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands with a woeful track record in maritime safety.Read more: Toxic cargo halts Philippines ferry search
The devil has been extremely busy claiming souls in our country: Politicians, businessmen, entertainers, the clergy , the list is inexhaustible. Is there anyone in authority there who has not irretrievably compromised his integrity or has a modicum of decency left to care about the people?