Philippine ferry fire leaves 31 dead, at least 7 missing

Thursday 1444/9/8 - 2023/03/30
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Manila, Philippines, March 30, 2023, SPA -- A ferry carrying about 250 passengers and crew caught fire in the southern Philippines; 31 people drowned or died in the blaze and were discovered later, the Associated Press reported quoting a provincial governor as saying Thursday.
Many of those rescued had jumped off the MV Lady Mary Joy 3 in panic at the height of the fire and were plucked from the sea by the coast guard, navy, another ferry and local fishermen, said Governor Jim Hataman of the southern island province of Basilan. The search and rescue efforts were continuing Thursday for at least seven missing passengers.
The burned ferry was towed to Basilan shoreline, where coast guard personnel and other authorities later discovered 18 more bodies in a budget section of the passenger cabin, Hataman said, adding that the search of the vessel was continuing.
The ferry was en route to Jolo town, in Sulu province, from the southern port city of Zamboanga when it caught fire midway, off Basilan, close to midnight, he said.
At least 23 passengers were injured and taken to hospitals.
10:52 LOCAL TIME 07:52 GMT