Philippines: At least 10 dead in passenger ferry fire

At least 10 dead in passenger ferry fire

Philippine Coast Guard personnel search for survivors of the fire on the MV Lady Mary Joy, in southern Philippines. photo


The cause of the fire is not yet clear. Accidents often occur on passenger ships there due to a lack of safety standards and overcrowding.

At least ten people died in a fire on a passenger ferry in the south of the Philippines on Thursday night. 195 passengers and 35 crew members were rescued alive by the “MV Lady Mary Joy 3”, said coast guard and civil protection.

The ferry caught fire near Baluk-Baluk Island around 880 kilometers south of the capital Manila around 11 p.m. (local time). “Most of the passengers were asleep at this point,” said Rejard Marpe of the local coastguard.

Cause of fire unclear

Some passengers panicked and jumped into the sea to avoid the flames, said Nixon Alonzo, chief of disaster management for the region. “Some of the dead were found on the ship, others drowned.” The cause of the fire was initially unclear. However, some survivors said the flames emanated from cabins with air conditioning.

Traveling on the water is part of everyday life in the Philippines. The archipelago consists of more than 7000 islands. Accidents are common due to inadequate safety standards and overcrowding. The worst peacetime shipping disaster occurred in Philippine waters in 1987 when a ferry collided with a tanker. More than 4000 people lost their lives at that time.


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