Manila, May 23 – 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 the vessel Mercraft 2 left at 5:00 a.m. local time in Polillo, an island town in the province, and was heading to a port of Real town when it caught fire approximately 900 meters from the port, Xinhua news agency reported.
The blaze forced passengers and crew to jump into the sea. Balilo said 105 people were rescued from the sea and six passengers were taken to a local hospital.
Photo 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.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.