At least 31 persons were killed while 230 were rescued when a ferry caught fire in the southern Philippines. The ill-fated Lady Mary Joy 3 ferry was traveling from Zamboanga City on Mindanao Island to Jolo Island in Sulu province when the fire broke out at late night on Wednesday.
Several passengers jumped overboard to save their lives. Rescuers, including the Philippine Coast Guard and fishermen, saved 195 passengers and 35 crew. Fourteen people were injured and seven were still missing.
There could be more people missing because the number of passengers on the vessel exceeded the 205 listed on the ship’s list. There were passengers who didn’t register in the manifest. Twelve bodies were retrieved including two children and a six-month-old baby.
It was not clear how the fire started.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, is plagued by poor sea transport, with its badly regulated ferries prone to overcrowding and accidents.