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Philippines grounds vessel after collision with Cebu bridge

Philippines grounds vessel after collision with Cebu bridge

Manila: The Maritime Industry Authority in Central Visayas has ordered the grounding of a 998.5gt vessel MTKR Damar that collided with the Marcelo Fernan Bridge that connects the island of Mactan to mainland Cebu in the Philippines, reports the Inquirer.

The incident, which has drawn the attention of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, is expected to set a precedent in terms of policy toward vessels involved in such accidents. The policy is likely to be drawn up by the Mactan Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) and will impact all vessels in the area.

The vessel, owned by the Sea-Tech Transport company, is said to have run into the columns of the bridge following engine failure in the early hours of March 11 as it crossed the Mactan Channel from Naga City en-route to Cagayan de Oro City. The governor is expected to charge the owner of the vessel for exemplary damages and expenses related to the incident.

Although there has been no major damage reported, the bridge has been closed down pending an investigation of whether it is still structurally sound.

The Cargo Ship Safety Construction and Equipment Certificates (CSSCC and CSSEC) of the vessel have been suspended. The MTKR DAMAR is required to undergo a survey and safety inspection to determine its seaworthiness and compliance with other safety requirements to resume its normal operation.  [12/03/08]