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Ship carying 120 people catches fire off Philippines
Ship carying 120 people catches fire off Philippines

Manila, June 18 : A ship carrying 120 people caught fire off the Philippine island of Bohol on Sunday and a coast guard vessel was deployed to rescue those onboard and try to extinguish the flames, coast guard officials said as quoted by media reports.

Photos and video released by the coast guard show flames and black smoke billowing from two decks at one end of the ferry. Coast guard personnel onboard another vessel used a water cannon to put out the fire while a fishing boat and one other vessel can be seen nearby. “All those who were onboard the ferry are safe,” Joy Gumatay, coast guard spokeswoman, said in a statement but gave no further details.

She added that the survivors were brought to the port city of Tagbilaran in Bohol province and an investigation was underway. Sea accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago because of frequent storms, poorly maintained vessels, overcrowding and spotty enforcement of safety regulations, especially in remote provinces.

Similar incident happened in past

In March, a fire broke out — and raged overnight — on a ferry carrying about 250 people and killed at least 31 passengers and crew members off the southern island province of Basilan, the coast guard said. In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker, killing more than 4,300 people in the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.


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