At least 12 people have died and 230 have been rescued from a ferry fire in the southern Philippines, authorities said Thursday.
Twelve bodies have been found... three of them are children, including a six-month-old baby
," Jim Salliman, governor of Basilan province, off which the ship is located, told AFP. ferry caught fire.
The Lady Mary Joy 3 was traveling from Zamboanga City, Mindanao Island, to Jolo Island, Sulu Province, when the fire broke out late Wednesday, prompting passengers to jump overboard, disaster manager Nixon Alonzo said.
Poor shipping system
Rescuers, including the Philippine Coast Guard and fishermen, rescued 195 passengers and 35 crew members off Baluk-Baluk Island in Basilan province.
Fourteen people were injured and seven are still missing.
Mr Salliman said the number of missing could be higher as the number of passengers on board the ship was higher than the 205 on the register.
There are probably passengers who have not been registered in the register.
The origin of the fire is unclear.
The survivors were taken to Zamboanga and Basilan where the injured were treated for burns
,” he said.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, suffers from a poor maritime transport system, with poorly regulated ferries that are often overloaded and prone to accidents.