A ferry in the southern Philippines caught fire early Wednesday, killing a minimum of 2 passengers while more than a hundred were rescued, according to the nation’s Coast Guard.
A minimum of 172 people were on board, consisting of 136 travelers and 36 crew members, according to the Associated Press. A spokesperson for the Philippines Coast Guard said the number saved was as high as 245, much more than the number noted on the vessel’s manifest.
A one-year-old girl and a 60- year-old male traveler were supposedly amongst those killed. The spokesperson stated the Coast Guard did not have patrol vessels in the area and contacted neighboring boats to help with the emergency, the AP reports.
By some accounts, it took hours for assistance to get here.
According to regional paper the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the ferry departed the province of Cebu at around 6 p.m. Tuesday and was headed for Dapitan City. The blaze was believed to have began in the engine room just after midnight.
Since 8 a.m. Wednesday, 102 travelers had actually been rescued and given health centers, a catastrophe management officer in Dapitan said according to regional news site Rappler.
The reason for the fire has yet to be figured out.
Scores of people die annual from ferry mishaps in the Southeast Asian country, which has a bad record of maritime safety. In August, 31 individuals were eliminated after 3 ferries cruising in bad climate condition reversed.
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