Bohol ferry fire: 1 missing person found; 135 survivors now home
MANILA, Philippines — The person tagged as missing after an inter-island ferry caught aflame and sank off Bohol province has already been found, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Monday.
The PCG identified the formerly missing passenger of the MBCA Mama Mary Chloe as Andy Toniacao, 32, a resident of Brgy. San Juan, Hilongos, Leyte.
According to the PCG, Toniacao was among those rescued and safely brought to the Port of Hilongos in Leyte following the incident. But he was unaccounted for because he immediately left the area due to trauma.
“Kasama siya sa na-rescue at inihatid sa Port of Hilongos, pero umalis siya agad sa area dahil sa trauma, kaya na-note siya as missing,” PCG communications officer Joy Dianne Gumatay explained to reporters in a Viber message.
(He was among those rescued and brought to Port of Hilongos, but he left immediately because of trauma, so he was noted as missing.)
The inter-island ferry MBCA Mama Mary Chloe caught ablaze and sank in the waters of Bohol and Leyte on Sunday afternoon.
The inter-island ferry departed from Ubay in Bohol province and was on its way to Bato town in Leyte province when it caught fire – leading panicking passengers to jump into the sea.
Unfortunately, the accident left one person dead – Adolfo Rañola, 53, resident of Barangay Poblacion in Trinidad, Bohol. He was found floating in the sea, the PCG earlier said.
A total of 165 passengers, including eight crew members and Rañola, were aboard the ferry, which has a carrying capacity of 236 persons.
Of the 164 survivors, 135, including Toniacao, have been sent home, according to the PCG.
The remaining 29, on the other hand, were still under the custody of the municipal government of President Carlos P. Garcia in Bohol for medical treatment.
“Ihahatid po sila ng MV Our Lady of Smile mula Ubay, Bohol, papuntang Bato, Leyte, mamayang 3 p.m,” the PCG reported.
The PCG is still investigating to determine the cause of the ferry fire. – Nicole Faye Agcaoili, INQUIRER.net intern