A ferry in the southern Philippines captured fire early Wednesday, eliminating a minimum of 2 travelers while more than a hundred were rescued, according to the country’s Coast Guard.
A minimum of 172 individuals were on board, including 136 passengers and 36 team members, according to the Associated Press. A representative for the Philippines Coast Guard said the number rescued was as high as 245, even more than the number listed on the vessel’s manifest.
A one-year-old lady and a 60- year-old male guest were supposedly amongst those eliminated. The spokesperson said the Coast Guard did not have patrol vessels in the area and called on nearby boats to help with the emergency, the AP reports.
By some accounts, it took hours for assistance to arrive.
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According to local newspaper the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the ferry left the province of Cebu at around 6 p.m. Tuesday and was headed for Dapitan City. The blaze was thought to have started in the engine room just after midnight.
Since 8 a.m. Wednesday, 102 guests had actually been saved and brought to health centers, a disaster management officer in Dapitan stated according to regional news site Rappler.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
Ratings of people die yearly from ferryboat accidents in the Southeast Asian country, which has a bad record of maritime safety. In August, 31 people were killed after 3 ferries cruising in bad weather conditions overturned.
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