12 People Killed In Passenger Ship Fire Off The Coast Of Basilan, Including Three Children

At least twelve people are confirmed dead, including three children, and seven are still missing after a passenger vessel carrying over 200 passengers caught fire in the waters near Baluk-Baluk Island in Basilan province, a coast guard official said Thursday.

Ship Fire
Image for representation purpose only

According to data from the provincial government, 189 survivors were rescued, and some 60 of them were taken to medical centres. The mayor of the coastal municipality of Hadji Muhtamad announced that 195 passengers had been saved so far, and many sustained injuries like burns.

The ship had left Zamboanga City Pier headed for Jolo when an explosion was heard before the fire started. As the vessel ran aground, more explosions were heard as the flames grew, according to one of the rescued passengers.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) based in Zamboanga rushed teams to help, while Coast Guard Station Basilan mentioned they had already retrieved a female body and rescued four people. They are also assessing any possibility of an oil spill caused by the incident.

Governor Jim Salliman-Hataman expressed his sympathies to those affected, adding that all resources are already mobilized to assist them and speed up search efforts for those still missing.

Reference: CNN Philippines, The Print

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