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Electrical glitch seen as cause of ship fire at waters off Cebu

M/V Filipinas Dinagat caught fire at the sea off Catmon town, north Cebu on Thursday evening. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

CEBU CITY — Electrical glitch may have caused the fire that ravaged a passenger ship at the sea off Catmon town, north Cebu past 10 p.m. on July 23.

In a report released at 4 p.m. on Friday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the captain of MV Filipinas Dinagat told investigators that problems on the ship’s electrical connection triggered the fire.

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“The PCG will verify the information through proper investigation,” it said.

“As the PCG remains on top of the maritime incident, it also actively informs transiting vessels on the presence of the ill-fated vessel at the said vicinity waters for appropriate action,” it added.

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Commander Alvin Dagalea, spokesperson of the PCG in Central Visayas, said no traces of oil spill were seen on the waters where the ship caught fire.

The metal oil tanks of MV Filipinas Dinagat, he said, remained intact and were not affected by the fire.

“Initial inspection showed no holes on the tanks,” he said.

Dagalea said it took about 12 hours for firefighters to contain the flames that razed the ship owned by Cokaliong Shipping Lines.

MV Filipinas Dinagat left Pier 1 in Cebu City about 7 p.m. on Thursday on its way to Palompon town in Leyte.

Three hours later, the PCG-7 received a distress call that the ship was burning.

Dagalea said the PCG-7 immediately sent its vessel, BRP Suluan (MV-4406), to the area.

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All ships near the place were also asked to assist in rescuing the crew members of MV Filipinas Dinagat.

The captain, Joel Villanueva, and all 47 crew members of the ship were safe although some of them sustained burn injuries on their bodies.

Dagalea said there were no passengers or rolling cargoes on board the ship during the incident.

“The ship was only carrying assorted goods,” Dagalea said.

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TAGS: Catmon town, electrical glitch, Fire, north Cebu, Passenger ship, PCG, Philippine Coast Guard, Regions
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