Philippines. Boat fire. People jumped into the sea and dozens died

At least 31 people, including a six-month-old baby, have died after a passenger boat caught fire in the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard said Thursday. Many of the survivors jumped into the sea in panic and were rescued by the Coast Guard, Navy and local fishermen.

MV Lady Mary Joy 3 was en route from Zamboanga in the south of the country to Jolo in Sulu province.

Authorities are yet to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out at 11pm (5pm GMT) on Wednesday off the coast of Basilan Island as several passengers were sleeping in cabins on the lower decks of the boats.

“I thought I was dreaming, but when I opened my eyes it was dark and we were surrounded by smoke,” Mina Nani, 46, told radio station DZRH, who jumped off the ship and shared a lifebuoy with another passenger. recovered.

Passenger ferry MV Lady Mary Joy 3 fires PAP/EPA/PCG

The charred boat was towed ashore in Basilan, where 18 more bodies were later found in the passenger cabin. “They were completely burned,” Mindano Coast Guard chief Regard Marf told Reuters.

The fire department said the boat was not overloaded. 230 people including 35 workers were rescued.

Marfe previously said most of the passengers were asleep at the time of the fire and there was “chaos” on board. Firefighters brought the fire under control on Thursday.

Passenger ferry MV Lady Mary Joy 3 fires PAP/EPA/HMM

Marine disasters in the Philippines

The agencies note that marine accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago of more than 7,600 islands caused by storms, poorly maintained boats, overcrowding and failure to enforce safety regulations, especially in remote provinces.

See also  War at a training center in Russia. The reason is not in my mind - o2

In May, at least seven people died when a Philippine ferry carrying 134 people caught fire. In 1987, the overloaded passenger ferry Dona Pass collided with an oil tanker off the island of Mindoro, south of the capital Manila, killing about 5,000 people in the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/HMM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *