MANILA — At least seven folks had been killed and greater than 100 had been plucked out of the ocean on Monday after a passenger ferry caught fireplace in the Philippines, the most recent maritime tragedy to hit the archipelago.
The Mercraft 2 was carrying 124 passengers and 10 crew members when it set off from Polillo Island at daybreak for the port of Real in Quezon Province when the accident occurred, the Coast Guard mentioned. The fireplace rapidly engulfed the ferry, forcing its passengers to leap into the ocean, officers mentioned.
“Seven people died,” Coast Guard spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo confirmed, saying that every one the lifeless had been passengers: 5 male and two feminine. “Rescue operations are continuing until we account for all the passengers.”
Commodore Balilo mentioned the vessel’s captain was amongst these rescued. A group of investigators was on the scene to find out what triggered the fireplace. Some 120 folks had been rescued as of midmorning Monday.
Accidents involving boats are frequent in the Philippines, an archipelago of greater than 7,100 islands the place journey by sea is the most affordable mode of transportation. In 2017, a vessel from the identical firm that owned the Mercraft 2 was additionally concerned in a maritime accident off Quezon Province in which 4 passengers died.
That ship, the Mercraft 3, had been carrying 251 folks when it sank off the coast of Infanta, not removed from the place Monday’s accident occurred.
In 2008, a minimum of 800 folks had been killed when the Princess of the Stars capsized throughout a storm in the central Philippines, whereas a 1987 collision between the ferry Dona Paz and an oil tanker killed greater than 4,300, in what is taken into account one of many world’s worst peacetime maritime disasters.