Three dead, more than 240 rescued after Philippine ferry blaze

Three dead, more than 240 rescued after Philippine ferry blaze

three dead, more than 240 rescued after Philippine ferry blaze
Lite Ferry 16 was cruising to Dapitan City from Cebu. (Photo: Facebook/Allan Barredo)

MANILA: Three people were killed and over 240 plucked to safety in the southern Philippines Wednesday (Aug 28) after a fire tore through a crowded ferry, authorities said, as rescuers hunted for more survivors.

The blaze broke out before dawn as the Lite Ferry 16 was cruising to Dapitan City from Cebu, prompting some of the terrified passengers to throw themselves overboard, one witness said.

It is not clear how many passengers were on the vessel, but the Philippine Coast Guard said 245 people had so far been rescued, and three confirmed dead.

Philippine coast Guard shows coastguard attending to rescued ferry passengers from Lite Ferry aug 28
This handout photo released on Aug 28, 2019 by the Philippine coast Guard (PCG) shows coastguard personnel attending to rescued ferry passengers from Lite Ferry after it caught fire (Photo: AFP PHOTO/Philippine coast Guard)

Philippine coast guard attending to rescued passengers from Lite Ferry aug 28
This handout photo released on Aug 28, 2019 by the Philippine coast Guard (PCG) shows coastguard personnel attending to rescued ferry passengers from Lite Ferry after it caught fire. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/Philippine coast Guard)

The boat's official manifest listed just 172 passengers and crew.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, is plagued by poor sea transport, with badly regulated boats and ships prone to overcrowding and accidents.

Coast Guard spokesman Captain Armand Balilo said search and rescue operations were continuing as authorities worked to determine the exact number of people on the boat.

"We have ordered the captain to explain the discrepancy," Balilo told AFP.

The ferry's operator, Danilo Lines, said a team was deployed to assist the rescued passengers and tugboats dispatched to bring the stricken ferry back to port.

Lite ferry handout photo, Philippines ferry blaze aug 28
This undated handout photo released on Aug 28, 2019 by the Philippine coast Guard (PCG) shows the Lite ferry boat anchored on an unknown location. (Photo: AFP/Philippine coast Guard (PCG))

Some 30 years ago another Philippine ferry, the Dona Paz, collided with an oil tanker in an accident that claimed more than 4,000 lives in the world's worst peacetime disaster at sea.

Source: AFP/nr

Bookmark