By John Ensor •
Updated: 04 Apr 2023 • 18:29
Ferry fire disaster in Philippines. Credit: Vern Vernon/shutterstock.
Up to 31 people are known to have drowned or died in the blaze, officials reported.
Many passengers survived by jumping off the MV Lady Mary Joy 3 into the sea, and were picked up by rescuers including, the navy, another ferry and local fishermen, said Governor Jim Hataman. The Coastguard said that 225 people including 36 crew members had been rescued.
The search for at least seven missing passengers is ongoing.
The burned ferry was towed to shore where authorities discovered 18 of the bodies in a budget section of the passenger cabin.
Mr Hataman said, ‘These victims perished onboard due to the fire.’
He also added that an investigation was underway after it was discovered there were additional travellers not listed on the vessel’s manifest.
‘Some of the passengers were roused from sleep due to the commotion caused by the fire. Some jumped off the ship,’
This is the second Philippine ferry disaster in less than a year, in May 2022 at least seven people perished on a high-speed ferry carrying 134 passengers.
The Philippines has a poor safety record at sea owing to frequent storms, badly maintained boats, overcrowding and loosely implemented safety regulations.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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