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Divers' blood samples sent to Singapore for analysis

June 27, 2008 4:28pm

MANILA, Philippines - Blood samples from divers who were part of the search, rescue and retrieval operations in capsized MV Princess of the Stars will be sent to Singapore for analysis, Transportation Undersecretary Elena Bautista said Friday.

In a radio report over radio dzXL, Bautista, who heads the task force investigating the marine tragedy, said the country doesn’t have enough equipment to ascertain whether these blood samples are contaminated by endosulfan, a toxic chemical pesticide.

Bautista said the task force took blood tests from rescue dives after authorities discovered Thursday that the capsized passenger vessel was carrying 10 metric tons of toxic chemical endosulfan.

Health Sec. Francisco Duque III earlier warned that if ingested, endosulfan can cause death or affect the central nervous system, manifesting as headaches, dizziness, nausea, tremors, convulsions which may also include cardiovascular symptoms.

Because of this, the discovery that the vessel was carrying an endosulfan shipment when it capsized had prompted the government to halt search, rescue and retrieval operations inside the ill-fated passenger vessel. - Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV
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