No casualties in nearly six-hour fire on ship off Bohol
A passenger-cargo vessel caught fire in the waters off Panglao, Bohol on Sunday morning but the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported no casualties as it declared fire out after almost six hours.
The PCG District Central Visayas said it declared fire out in the vessel at 10 am, the PCG said.
In an interview with dzBB, Bohol Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Anthony Damalerio said the PCG Bohol station received a distress call from the MV Esperanza Star at 3:55 am.
The ship left the port of Lazi, Siquijor to the port of Tagbiliran.
Damalerio said there were no casualties from the fire.
“We would like to report that all 72 passengers and 60 crew members are all accounted for,” he said.
He said around four to five fishing boats were the first responders and they were assisted by a shipping vessel and PCG boats which conducted firefighting operations.
Damalerio said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“I talked to one of the crew members who said it started outside the engine room. The hallway of the engine room but it is still under investigation. The Philippine Coast Guard officials in Bohol are still on board the vessel. The fire is already put out,” he said.
“Most likely within the day they will pull the vessel to the docking area to conduct a full investigation,” he added.
He said all passengers are staying on the second floor of the port terminal building and waiting for the arrival of the officials of Kho Shipping, the operator of the ship.
“They are arriving this morning from Cebu and maybe they are negotiating whatever financial assistance they can give to the affected passengers,” Damalerio said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS