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Coast Guard retrieves another Basilan ferry fire victim's body; death toll now 32

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Sunday retrieved another body of one of the passengers of the ill-fated MV Lady Mary Joy 3, bringing the total deaths to 32.

According to the PCG, the body of Alses Hassan — one of the earlier reported missing passengers — was sighted by the waters off Langgas Island, Maluso, Basilan.

The body was turned over to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) Maluso.

“The PCG continues its search and rescue operations to look for the last missing passenger of the ill-fated vessel,” the PCG said.

The ferry — MV Lady Mary Joy 3 — was headed to Jolo, Sulu from Zamboanga City last Wednesday, March 29, when it caught fire at around 10:40 p.m. Fire out was declared at 7:30 a.m. the following day.

According to Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan Mayor Arsina Kahing-Nanoh, authorities are finding difficulties in search, rescue, and retrieval operations due to an inaccurate manifest—Jon Viktor Cabuenas/KG, GMA Integrated News