Ferry catches fire, sinks off Bohol; 1 dead, 1 missing
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Philippines — An inter-island ferry with 165 passengers and crew members in Bohol province sank on Sunday after it caught fire, leaving a man dead and another person missing, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
In a statement, the PCG said that MV Mama Mary-Chloe caught fire around 1 p.m. while traveling from Ubay, Bohol, to Bato, Leyte province.
It was carrying 157 passengers and eight crew members. Of the passengers, 142 were adults while the rest were children.
The body of Adolfo Rañola, a 53-year-old resident of Barangay Poblacion in Trinidad, Bohol, was found by authorities floating at sea.
As of 6:30 p.m., rescue operations were ongoing for a person still reported missing.
A total of 99 survivors were brought to Hilongos, Leyte, for treatment after they were rescued by a passenger banca and other smaller vessels, according to the PCG.
Another 37 were taken to Gaus Island while 25 others were brought to Barangay Tugas, and two more in Barangay Aguinin, both in Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol, for medical treatment.
Survivors jump into sea
According to the PCG, MV Mama Mary-Chloe left Ubay port at 11:30 a.m. and caught fire around 1 p.m. in the waters between Tugas and Tilmobo Islands in Bohol, causing passengers to jump into the sea.
The PCG said that it immediately alerted all vessels in the area after receiving a report about the incident. It added that the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
The boat, which had a maximum capacity of 236 persons, was owned by Neri Obligado, a resident of President Carlos P. Garcia town.
In May, a fire ripped through the passenger ferry MV Mercraft as it was about to dock in Real, Quezon province, leaving seven dead among the 134 passengers and crew.
That same month, seven fishermen went missing after their boat collided with a cargo ship, MV Happy Hiro, some 300 kilometers east of Palawan province.
The PCG later filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides, multiple injuries, and damage to properties against the officers of the foreign cargo vessel.
In April, a cargo ship, the MV General Romulo, was also hit by a fire while it was anchored off Talisay City, Cebu province, leaving a person dead and three others injured.
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