Philippines: 2 killed after ferry catches fire

Mindanao [Philippines]: At least two people were killed after a ferry carrying more than 100 passengers caught fire in the southern island of Mindanao, on Tuesday night.

The death toll is expected to rise. According to Aljazeera, several people are still missing.

The cause of the fire is still unclear.

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The city health officer of Dapitan, Dr Rolito Catluna, has confirmed the two fatalities.

The ship had departed the island of Cebu in the central Philippines on Tuesday night and was only 1.5 nautical miles (2.7km) from the port of Dapitan when the incident happened.

The official manifest showed 138 passengers and 38 crew members, or a total of 176, onboard the ferry, said Michael John Encina, a spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard in Cebu. But he said that number could still change.

Further details are awaited.

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