This handout photo taken and released on May 23, 2022 from the Philippine Coast Guard shows people throwing buckets of water onto a smouldering ferry which had caught fire near Real town, Quezon province. (HANDOUT / PHILIPPINES COAST GUARD / AFP)
MANILA – A ferry with 124 passengers and 10 crew members on board caught fire on Monday while traveling to a town in Quezon province on the main Luzon island, leaving at least seven dead, a spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
Commodore Armand Balilo said at least 127 people were rescued after the passengers and crew jumped into the sea to escape the burning boat. Twenty-four were injured, he added
Commodore Armand Balilo said the vessel Mercraft 2 left at 5:00 am local time in Polillo, an island town in the province, and was heading to a port of Real town when it caught fire around 6:30 am local time approximately 900 meters from the port.
Balilo said at least 127 people were rescued after the passengers and crew jumped into the sea to escape the burning boat. Twenty-four were injured, he added.
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The PCG said in an updated report that all passengers and crew were accounted for.
In this photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, passengers are checked after being rescued at the port of Real, Quezon province, Philippines on May 23, 2022. (PHILIPPINES COAST GUARD VIA AP)
Photos and videos of the incident provided by the PCG showed a blaze engulfing the boat and people scampering to leave the burning ferry onto a raft. Another photo showed people clinging to floating objects and ropes. A video also showed a PCG member reviving a man.
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Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire which reportedly came from the boat's engine room.