120 people rescued after boat caught fire off the coast of the Philippines

120 people rescued after boat caught fire off the coast of the Philippines

At least 120 people were rescued alive on Sunday after the boat they were traveling on caught fire off the coast of the central region of the Philippines, the country’s coast guard reported.

According to preliminary information, 120 people, including 55 crew members and 65 passengers, were on board the ship MV Esperanza Star, which was bound for the city of Tagbilaran, when it caught fire in the waters off Panglao Island.

According to the Coast Guard, all those on board were rescued alive by passing lifeboats and fishermen and taken to the town of Tagbilaran for medical attention, food and water.

“The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is continuing firefighting and rescue operations in response to a maritime incident involving a passenger and cargo ship,” the agency said.

In videos and images shared by rescuers on social networks, it is possible to see the ship on fire and a thick wall of smoke as lifeboats try to contain the fire.

The causes of the accident are still unknown, but initial information indicates that the fire started in the engine room and spread to the rear of the boat, the head of local management and disaster risk reduction, Anthony Damalerio.

Freight and passenger ship incidents are not uncommon in the Philippines, where poor shipping makes it easy for accidents and overcrowding on the ferries.

At the end of March, a serious fire on a ferry in the south of the country left more than 30 dead, including at least three children, while at least 230 other people were rescued alive.

Source: El heraldo