OCD: 19 people still missing after Basilan ferry fire
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 19 people are still missing from the fire that razed a passenger vessel off Basilan, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said on Monday.
OCD spokesperson Undersecretary Raffy Alejandro said authorities are currently conducting retrieval and recovery operations for the remaining victims as the death toll of the incident hit 32.
“So far, 32 na ang reported na officially dead doon pero mayroon pang 19 missing na hopefully ma-recover natin doon sa area kung saan nangyari itong insidente,” Alejandro said in a public briefing.
(So far, 32 have been officially reported dead, but there are still 19 people missing whom we hope to recover.)
He said 16 corpses out of the 32 reported fatalities have yet to be identified since their remains were burned.
MV Lady Mary Joy 3 was en route to Jolo, Sulu, from Zamboanga City on March 29 when the fire hit the passenger vessel at around 10:40 p.m.
It was declared fire out at 7:30 a.m. on March 30.