BY JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL
LUCENA CITY – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has confirmed there were seven passengers of the burned vessel bound for Real, Quezon Province.
The PCG has not yet named the fatalities at press time but said the passengers were on board Vessel Mercraft 2.
The Coastguard said of the seven confirmed dead, five were females and two were males. Three other survivors are in critical condition as of this writing.
Based on initial reports, the vessel had 124 passengers and it also has 10 crew members. Seven other passengers were reported missing, the Coastguard said.
At press time, there were already 120 passengers rescued by the Coastguard and seven are still missing.
PCG Commodore Armand Balilo said Vessel Mercraft 2, which was bound for Real in Quezon Province, caught fire while going to its destination.
The PCG also reported the vessel can accommodate a total of 186 passengers.
The vessel was already towed by PCG personnel and crew to Baluti Island in Barangay Cawayan, Real town in Quezon Province.
Based on initial probe made by PCG, in December 2017, MV Mercraft 3 carrying 251 passengers has also capsized in the high seas. (JCE)