A ferryboat in the southern Philippines ignited early Wednesday, eliminating at least 2 passengers while more than a hundred were rescued, according to the country’s Coast Guard.
A minimum of 172 people were on board, including 136 travelers and 36 team members, according to the Associated Press. A representative for the Philippines Coast Guard stated the number saved was as high as 245, far more than the number noted on the vessel’s manifest.
A one-year-old girl and a 60- year-old male passenger were apparently among those eliminated. The representative said the Coast Guard did not have patrol vessels in the area and contacted close-by boats to help with the emergency, the AP reports.
By some accounts, it took hours for help to get here.
According to regional paper the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the ferryboat 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 simply after midnight.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, 102 passengers had been rescued and brought to medical facilities, a disaster management officer in Dapitan said according to local news site Rappler.
The cause of the fire has yet to be figured out.
Ratings of individuals pass away yearly from ferryboat mishaps in the Southeast Asian country, which has a bad record of maritime safety. In August, 31 people were eliminated after three ferries sailing in bad climate condition reversed.
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