The accident occurred off the coast of the southern island province of Basilan around midnight. The ferry was carrying about 250 passengers, according to the governor, there are at least 7 people missing.
230 people were rescued (35 crew members), the balance of the local Coast Guard chief said, noting that there are 14 people hospitalized.
"Some of the passengers woke up from sleep due to the shock caused by the fire. Some jumped off the ship," Hataman said.
Hindi bababa sa 31 ang namatay at 7 pa rin ang nawawala mula sa nasunog na MV Lady Mary Joy 3 sa may isla ng Balukbaluk sa Basilan. 230 na pasahero naman ang nasagip ayon kay Basilan’s Disaster Reduction Officer, Nixon Alonzo. #NET25NEWS#ASPNpic.twitter.com/3n6FgIQy1h
At least 31 people died and 7 are still missing from the MV Lady Mary Joy 3 that caught fire off the island of Balukbaluk in Basilan. 230 passengers were rescued according to Basilan's Disaster Reduction Officer, Nixon Alonzo.
The governor added that an ongoing investigation suggests that there were more travelers who were not listed on the ship's manifest. The Coast Guard said search and rescue efforts will continue.
Several charred bodies were found in different parts of the ferry, while others were returned by sea, said regional coast guard commander Rejard Marfe. The ferry was carrying 205 passengers and a crew of 35, plus a security contingent: four coast guard marshals and an undetermined number of soldiers, Marfe said.
The MV Lady Mary Joy 3 caught fire midway off Basilan at around midnight Wednesday while en route to Jolo town in Sulu province from the southern port city of Zamboanga.