Philippines: At least 28 dead in passenger ferry fire

At least 28 dead in passenger ferry fire

After the rescue, survivors rest on shore. The ferry is still on fire. photo


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

The death toll in a fire on a passenger ferry in southern Philippines has risen to at least 28. The bodies of 18 other people had previously been found on the burned-out ship, said Rejard Marpe from the local coast guard on Thursday afternoon (local time) of the German Press Agency. The “MV Lady Mary Joy 3” caught fire late Wednesday evening near Baluk-Baluk Island, around 880 kilometers south of the capital Manila.

195 passengers and 35 crew members were rescued alive by the “MV Lady Mary Joy 3”, the coast guard and civil protection had announced. It is currently unclear whether people are still missing, said Marpe. There may have been more people on board than were officially registered.

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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