Monday, June 11, 2007
Five people were killed while seven others injured in a fire that hit a passenger ship carrying some 200 travelers in central Philippines, a Coast Guard spokesman said. Passenger ship MV Cathlyyn caught fire off the boundary between islands of Mindoro and Palawan at about 8 a.m. (0000 GMT) Commander Joseph Coyme, spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard told reporters. The five fatalities include an old man and a child, he added. "Most of the passengers have been rescued but we cannot confirm yet if there are still people missing," he said. So far 128 survivors have been counted, while another passing ship, which rescued about 100 people, has not yet submitted its list, Coyme said.Meanwhile, local radio dzBB reported that two of the fatalities were airlifted to Manila and are now at the Philippine Coast Guard's headquarters. The seven injured passengers were also provided with medical care in time. The ship, owned by local company San Nicolas Lines, was on its way to Palawan when hit by a fire. Authorities are still investigating the cause, the radio said. At least 216 passengers and 21 crewmen were on board when the fire broke out, prompting passengers to abandon the ferry, said the report. Aside from passengers, the ship was also loaded with cargo including rice and other commodities, it added.