MV Marcraft fire: Seven killed in Philippine passenger ferry fire

A fire broke out on a high-speed Philippine ferry carrying 134 people on Monday, killing seven people and leaving seven passengers missing, the Coast Guard said.

About 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the capital Manila, MV Marcraft 2 caught fire just before reaching the port of Real in the province of Quezon.

It left Pollio Island at 5 a.m. local time and made a disaster call at 6:30 p.m.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that five women and two men had died, while 120 passengers had been rescued and 23 had been treated for their injuries.

Pictures shared by coastguards show people floating in the sea waiting to be rescued at Life West, and some have been safely transported to the area by a cargo ship.

Fire and thick smoke engulfed the passenger ship on the second floor.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, has a poor record for maritime security.

Ships are often old and overflowing.

In 1987, nearly 5,000 people died in the world’s worst peacetime shipping disaster, when an overloaded passenger ferry Donna Paz collided with an oil tanker off Mindoro Island, south of the capital Manila.

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