A PASSENGER vessel of Lite Shipping Corporation caught fire in seawaters off Barangay Taloot in Argao, southern Cebu, on Sunday morning, September 2.
Eric Salcedo of Cebu Coast Guard Station (CCGS) said MV Lite Ferry 28, which came from Tagbilaran City in Bohol, was approximately 200 meters away from reaching Taloot Port when it caught fire around 11 a.m.
Senior Fire Officer 4 Rex Harrison Florido, Argao Fire Station chief, said the crew of MV LCT Miami, a barge, was able to rescue 97 passengers.
He said the crew of MV Lite Ferry 28 stayed in the ship to help put out the fire, which reportedly started in the engine room.
Salcedo added that all passengers and crew of MV Lite Ferry 28 are safe.
After rescuing the passengers, the barge carried three fire trucks from Argao and Sibonga to pump water to the burning passenger vessel.
A boat from the Philippine Coast Guard also arrived to help the firefighers.
Florido said LCT Miami started to drag the ship to Taloot Port past 2 p.m.
Authorities from CCGS said that they will start the formal investigation to determine the cause of the incident.
Salcedo added that the captain of the vessel is also obliged to submit details of what happened before the fire. (KAL/EOB/JKV)