Five people were killed when a ferry with more than 200 people onboard caught fire on Monday in waters off the central Philippine island of Mindoro, the coast guard said.
Initial reports said the MV Catalyn-D was en route to the western island of Palawan when the blaze erupted, the coast guard said. It had set sail from Manila last evening.
The flames were quickly contained and a coast guard vessel was dispatched to transport the passengers to Manila, the coast guard said.
The blaze began in the cargo hold of the vessel and quickly spread to the passenger deck, the coast guard said.
Some frightened passengers who had jumped overboard to escape the flames were plucked from the sea by passing fishing vessels while the rest were safely recovered by the responding coast guard boat, said coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Joseph Coyme.
Coyme said all passengers were accounted for, although there were five casualties. "We will know (the cause of the fire) once the investigation is undertaken," Coyme said over DZBB radio.