A passenger ship near Basilan island caught fire Wednesday evening leaving more than 25 dead, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said Thursday.
In a radio interview, Basilan PDRRMO chief Nixon Alonzo said that there are other reports coming in and are still subject for verification
“Nakuha sila sa barko na patay or tumalon kasi yung iba sa dagat. Either nalunod or may mga nakita rin kami na signs na yung iba ay sunog din,” he said.
According to the manifest, there are 195 passengers and 35 crew members.
They were rescued from the fire, according to Alonzo.
MV Lady Mary Joy 3, which was docked at the pier of Baluk-Maluk Island caught fire a little over 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
It was supposed to travel to Jolo, Sulu.
The Coast Guard Station Basilan reported that the conduct of search and rescue operations is ongoing at the vicinity waters off Baluk-Baluk Island in Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan.
“Upon receipt of information regarding the said fire incident, a Search and Rescue (SAR) Team from Coast Guard Sub-Station Maluso immediately proceeded in the area of the incident and was able to retrieve one female cadaver,” said the Coast Guard in a Facebook post.
Catherine R. Cueto