Three persons died while an unknown number of others are missing after a ferry caught fire off the coast of Philippines on August 27.
Lite Ferry 16, operated by Lite Shipping Corporation, caught fire after leaving Cebu en route to Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.
According to the Philippine government news agency PNA, 162 passengers on board the RoRo were rescued with the help of private vessels in an action that involved Philippine Coast Guard personnel.
The exact number of passengers on the ferry is yet to be determined as authorities have noticed a discrepancy in the number of persons saved and the number of listed passengers.
“As of 8 a.m., we already have 102 rescued passengers, our rescue teams and those from other shipping companies are still at the location of Lite Ferry 16,” PNA quoted Nelson Quimiguing, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief, as saying.
Some of the passengers were transferred to hospitals for treatment following the rescue operation.
An investigation into the incident has been launched. Initial reports said the fire started in the ship’s engine room.
A passenger of a vessel that was in the vicinity of the fire-stricken Lite Ferry 16 has shared video footage of the incident.