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Fire engulfs Dapitan City-bound ferry

MANILA, Philippines – A Dapitan City-bound ferry, the Lite Ferry 16 caught fire Tuesday night, hours after leaving Cebu.

ferry fire lite ferry 16 dapitan city, cebu

FLOATING INFERNO – Fire engulfs the Lite Ferry 16, about 1.5 nautical miles off Palauan Port in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte in this photo taken at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Allan Barredo)

Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Capt. Armand  Balilo, in an interview on DZMM, said that based on reports he received, the blaze has been placed under control.

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Search and rescue operations are underway for the 137 passengers, added Balilo.

Two rescued unconscious passengers were brought to hospital.

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A passenger narrated that the vessel, owned and operated by Lite Shipping Corporation, was nearing Palauan Port in Dapitan City when the fire broke out.

Based on initial reports, the blaze started in the engine room.

In a video post on Facebook by Fred Castro at around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, he said another passenger vessel arrived at the scene around three hours later to rescue distressed passengers.

lite ferry 16 fire dapitan city

(Photo courtesy of Allan Barredo)

Castro said that as the flames engulfed the entire vessel, he decided to jump into the water, minus his belongings.

He added that many other passengers followed suit.

“What is important is we are safe (from the fire), I don’t mind my things,” Castro said.

lite ferry 16 fire, dapitan city

(Photo courtesy of Allan Barredo)

He added that several other rescue boats arrived in the area around 5 a.m., to rescue more passengers.

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The passengers included several children and elderly, said Castro.  / gsg

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TAGS: Armand Balilo, Cebu, Coast Guard, Dapitan City, ferry, Fire, Lite Ferry 16
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