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Philippine Ferry Catches Fire At Sea

Photo/AP.

On Sunday, a Philippine ferry carrying 120 passengers and crew members caught fire at sea. All the passengers, including the crew, were safely rescued, according to the Coast Guard.

The M/V Esperanza Star, carrying 65 passengers and 55 crew members from Siquijor province in the central Philippines to Bohol province, caught fire early, according to the coast guard. Associated Press reported that two vessels had been sent out to aid in rescue efforts and in putting out the flames, which had been raging for more than five hours.

“All those onboard the ferry are safe,” Joy Gumatay, coast guard spokeswoman, said in a statement but gave no further details.

She noted that an investigation was ongoing and that the survivors had been taken to the port city of Tagbilaran in the province of Bohol.

A similar incident occurred in March and killed at least 31 passengers and crew members off the southern island province of Basilan.

Due to frequent storms, poorly maintained vessels, overcrowding, and inconsistent enforcement of safety laws, particularly in outlying areas, sea mishaps are widespread throughout the Philippine archipelago.