PCG retrieves last body in Basilan ferry fire; deaths now at 33
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday said it recovered the body of the last missing passenger in the Basilan Ferry fire in the vicinity waters of Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, bringing the total death toll to 33.
According to PCG in a statement, the victim was identified as Private First Class Marion Malda, one of the Philippine Army personnel on board the ship when it caught fire on March 29.
“The Philippine Coast Guard and PDRRMO (Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Managment Office) Basilan confirmed that the cadaver recovered in the vicinity waters off Barangay Sulutan Matangal, Hadji Mohammad Adjul, on 11 April 2023 was the last missing passenger of MV Lady Mary Joy 3,” said PCG.
The PCG said that this marked the 33rd passenger who lost their lives in the said fire. Only 216 survived out of the 249 total riders.
M/V Lady Mary Joy 3 was en route to Sulu from Zamboanga when it burst into flames on the night of March 29.
A faulty electrical wiring is said to be the possible cause of the fire.