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Death toll in Basilan ferry fire now 31 — PCG

The number of fatalities due to the fire that hit MV Lady Mary Joy 3 off Basilan has increased to 31, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Wednesday.

PCG BARMM commander Commodore Rejard Marfe reported that two cadavers of missing persons were recovered on Wednesday.

Currently, two people are still missing.

MV Lady Mary Joy 3 was en route to Jolo, Sulu from Zamboanga City on March 29 when it caught fire at around 10:40 p.m. The blaze was declared out at 7:30 a.m. on March 30.

To save the passengers, the captain brought the vessel to Baluk-Maluk Island in Hadji Muhtamad town.

According to PCG, 216 people survived the incident.

An inaccurate manifest is making it difficult for authorities to conduct search, rescue, and retrieval operations on the vessel, according to Mayor Arsina Kahing-Nanoh of Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has launched a marine safety investigation into MV Lady Mary Joy 3.

MARINA directed its personnel to conduct surveys on all vessels operated by the concerned company, Aleson Shipping Lines, as well as intensified monitoring for all vessels in the country.

It also ordered Aleson Shipping Lines Inc. to “attend, and extend assistance to the victims of the fire, help the survivors who needed medical attention, financial and whatever assistance to families of those who lost their loved ones.”—AOL, GMA Integrated News