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At least 10 dead in ferry fire off Basilan

At least 10 people died when a passenger ferry caught fire Wednesday night, March 29, off Basilan province.

Basilan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Nixon Alonzo, in a television interview, said that seven people on board the ill-fated M/V Lady Mary Joy 3 were reported missing.

The Basilan provincial government, on its Facebook page, said 195 passengers and 35 crew members were rescued.

Some of those who were rescued were sent to hospitals in Zamboanga City.

The Philippine Coast Guard said its station in Basilan is checking if there are signs of an oil spill and is assisting in the investigation into the incident.

Search and rescue operations are ongoing for the missing individuals.

The vessel operated by Aleson Shipping Line caught fire in Baluk-baluk Island, Hadji Muhtamad while en route to Jolo from Zamboanga City.

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