31 Dead After Philippine Ferry Fire
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More than 30 people are dead following an eight-hour long fire on a ferry in the southern Philippines, officials reported Thursday, with more than 200 having to plunge into the ocean in order to escape.
Approximately 250 passengers and crew were on board the Lady Mary Joy 3 when the fire erupted, killing at least 31 people and leaving at least seven people missing, officials said.
More than 200 people survived after jumping off the fiery ship and were rescued by the coast guard, navy, a nearby ferry and local fishermen, Basilan’s Gov. Jim Hataman told the AP.
More uncounted people may have been on the ferry but not on the manifest, Hataman told the AP, with the vessel approved to carry 240 passengers and crew.
Officials are investigating the incident including if the 33-year-old ferry was seaworthy, the AP reported.
With more than 7,100 islands, traveling by boat is a common and cheap mode of transportation for many in the Philippines, making boat accidents common as well. Last year seven people died, after a passenger ferry caught fire leaving more than 120 passengers jumping into the water to survive. In 2017, four people died after an accident off the Quezon Province. Most famously, in 1987 more than 4,300 people died after the ferry Dona Paz collided with an oil tanker in the Philippines.
Philippine Ferry Fire Kills 31 People; At Least 7 Missing (Associated Press)