5 injured in ferry fire off Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – Three children and two adults sustained serious burn injuries when the wooden vessel they were in caught fire Thursday night, authorities said.
Police Colonel Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City police director, said the minor victims, aged from 3 to 12, and the two adults, aged 33 and 65 are residents of Pilas Island in Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan.
Lorenzo said they received a report that a wooden vessel, locally known as jungkong, caught fire in the waters off Barangay Rio Hondo, at around 7:30 p.m.
“The report of the fire incident came from one of the barangay kagawad in Rio Hondo. We immediately responded and proceeded to the area,” Lorenzo said.
One of the injured victims told investigators that the fire started at the engine of the vessel.
The passengers jumped overboard after an explosion.
It took more than four hours to put off the fire with the help of personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy and the Bureau of Fire Protection. All the goods inside the vessel were damaged.
Senior Fire Officer 1 Luigi Chan said that the fire was extinguished at about 11:31p.m. Estimated damage to property was pegged at P2.5 million. further investigation is ongoing as of posting time.