Philippine Ferry Fire Kills 31 People; At Least 7 Missing

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A fire broke out on a ferry in the southern Philippines and raged overnight for eight hours, killing at least 31 of the approximately 250 passengers and crew.

Officials say many of the more than 200 people who survived the blaze jumped off the ship and were rescued from the dark sea by the coast guard, navy, a nearby ferry and local fishermen.

They say rescuers are still searching for at least seven missing people.

The bodies of 18 of the 31 victims were discovered after the fire was extinguished in a budget section of the passenger cabin.

Sea accidents are common in the Philippines because of frequent storms, badly maintained vessels, overcrowding and spotty enforcement of safety regulations.

More about: