Passengers had to jump overboard. At least seven people died and a hundred were saved on Monday, May 23, in the Philippines, after the fire of a ferry, announced coast guards and witnesses. The fire broke out on the mercraft 2which was carrying 134 passengers and crew from Polillo Island to Real, Quezon Province, on the main island of Luzon.

Searches for survivors are ongoing. The boat could carry a maximum of 186 people. At least 23 people have been hospitalized, including the captain of the ferry, according to the coast guard.

An open investigation

Thick black smoke billowed from the burning boat, according to photos released by the Coast Guard. The fire appears to have started in the engine room, said thePhilippine Coast Guard Spokesman Armando Balilo. The fire of mercraft 2 was brought under control, the charred wreckage was towed away and an investigation was opened.

The Philippine archipelago has more than 7,000 islands. Often, the boats do not meet the regulations in force and exceed their maximum transport capacity, and accidents are frequent.

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