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120 Rescued in the Philippines After Ferry Catches Fire at Sea

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The coast guard reported Sunday 120 passengers on board the ferry MV Esperanza Star that caught fire at sea in the central Philippines have been rescued.

The M/V Esperanza Star was carrying 65 passengers and 55 officers and crew members, caught fire while travelling from Siquijor island to nearby Bohol island.

A representative for the Coast Guard said that firefighters on another vessel used a water canon to extinguish the fire by around 0200 GMT. The fire’s origin is still unknown.

Two coast guard vessels that were involved in firefighting and rescue operations were still in the area of the fire. The rescue passengers’ and crew members’ whereabouts and conditions were not disclosed.

The Philippines, an archipelago of over 7,600 islands, has a terrible track record for marine safety, with vessels frequently overcrowded and a large number of aged ships in service.

In March, a ferry carrying approximately 250 people caught fire in the south, killing more than two dozen people, including a six-month-old baby.

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