Philippines boat fire: Passenger ship carrying 82 engulfed in flames – rescue underway | World | News

At least 73 of those onboard have been rescued, with many jumping into the sea, according to coastguards and survivors. Video shows an enormous black smoke cloud billowing from the ferry, which was engulfed in flames but has now been extinguished.

Coastguard officials said the vessel was close to the anchoring zone in Batangas, a port south of the country’s capital, Manila.

Among those rescued is a 44-year-old woman who has been taken to hospital.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear.

Pictures of the aftermath show the flames extinguished.

The blaze was put out with the assistance of another ship.

Passenger Benedict Fernandez told DZMM radio he jumped into the water with his two children.

Mr Fernandez said: “I pushed my children off because if we didn’t jump from the top, we would really get burned because the soles of our feet were already feeling the heat.”

They were rescued from the water by a boat and transferred onto a tug boat which took them to land.

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The ferry was carrying 48 passengers, 34 crewmembers and 16 vehicles.

At capacity, it can carry 402 passengers.

In a Facebook post, the Philippine Coast Guard said its team “responded to a fire incident involving MV ASIA PHILIPPINES (passenger / RoRo vessel) in the vicinity waters one nautical mile off Batangas Anchorage Area at around 5,59pm today (local time), August 26, 2022.

“The distressed vessel departed from Calapan Port at around 3pm going to Batangas Port. The expected time of arrival was 5.30pm.

“Based on the initial investigation, MV ASIA PHILIPPINES had 48 passengers and 34 crew members – a total of 82 individuals – and 16 rolling cargoes onboard.

“The authorised passenger capacity of the said vessel is 402.

“The PCG dispatched rescue personnel and two floating assets to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations.

“A total of 73 individuals were rescued as of 7.30pm.

“One of the 73 rescued individuals, a 44-year-old female, was brought to the nearest hospital for medical attention due to an injury.

“SAR and firefighting operations are ongoing.”

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