A two-story ferry with 544 passengers caught fire after docking in the central Philippines on Saturday morning.
Sarah Jane Balmaceda of the coast guard office in Ormoc says two of the 59 crew have been slightly injured.
Lieutenant Prolen Bonacua, civil military officer of the Philippine Army’s 19th Infantry Batallion, said that as of posting, 3 people were reported to have minor injuries, and there were no reports of casualties, so far.
Balilo said arson investigators have yet to establish the cause, with several witnesses saying the fire started from the engine room.
Fire was declared out only after nine hours. This is aside from the site inspection, which has to be done to establish what caused the fire and where it started, he added.
Only four of the 23 vehicles on board were safely removed.
“We assisted passengers who left their belongings in the vessel while escaping from the fire and we provided them free breakfast and transportation to their residences”, Roble said.
Roble said that Wonderful Stars was a 1,200-gross-tonnage vessel and had been with the company for 10 years since they bought it in Japan.
The fire happened nearly a month-and-a half after 61 persons died when the ferry Kim Nirvana B capsized and sank soon after leaving Ormoc port in early July.