700 missing after Philippines typhoon sinks ferry

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Hundreds of passengers were feared trapped and may have died after their ferry capsized in the Philippines during Typhoon Fengshen, said two survivors who struggled to shore Sunday.

The storm left at least 155 dead, submerging entire communities and setting off landslides, said Sen. Richard Gordon, head of the national Red Cross, but there were concerns the death toll would jump dramatically.

The 72 people listed as missing did not include the more than 740 passengers and crew aboard the MV Princess of Stars, and worried relatives wept as they waited for news. Gordon said he has asked U.S. authorities for help in finding anyone who might still be alive inside the ferry and was told "they are going to try very, very hard."

A rescue ship battling huge waves and strong winds reached the ferry Sunday, one end jutting out of the water upside-down, more than 24 hours after it lost radio contact. There was no sign of survivors at the site, and only four people who were on board were known to have reached shore alive.

"They haven't seen anyone. They're scouring the area. They're studying the direction of the waves to determine where survivors may have drifted," coast guard spokesman Lt. Senior Grade Arman Balilo said.

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