Huge fire engulfs ferry in Philippines

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Ferry survivors, 26 Jun 22 (Philippine Coast Guard video still)Image source, Philippine Coast Guard
Image caption,
Survivors were brought to Leyte Island on Sunday

A fire engulfed a ferry carrying 165 people in the central Philippines and rescuers now say all but two have been brought to safety.

One person is confirmed to have died and one is missing, the Philippine Coast Guard says.

The Mama Mary-Chloe was sailing between the islands of Bohol and Leyte.

A Coast Guard video on Facebook showed survivors ashore in Hilongos, on Leyte. The boat, with 157 passengers and eight crew, had sailed from Ubay, on Bohol.

Some reports say children had to jump from the burning boat before being picked up.

A YouTube video showed a huge fire on board the vessel with thick black billowing smoke and many people in the water.

Officials say they do not yet know the cause of the fire, but estimate the ferry was only carrying just over half its maximum number of passengers.

"The rescue of the crew and passengers was swift because of the help from [boats] sailing in the waters when the incident happened," the Coast Guard said.

Boat accidents are relatively common in the Philippines, as many vessels are overcrowded and the vast archipelago suffers from frequent storms.

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