1 dead, 5 missing as cargo vessel catches fire at sea

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LIMAY, Bataan: A crew of cargo boat MV Virginia I died while five were rescued with five others missing from the = vessel that burned and sank off the sea between Corregidor Island in Cavite and Mariveles in Bataan, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Tuesday night.

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Lieutenant Carlos Victor Carlos, PCG–Bataan station chief, said a fisherman rescued boat Capt. Ronald Garcia, 54, and three of his crew – Luis Madla, 60; Jun-Jun Manalo, 33; and Ian Badayos, 22, from Mariveles waters.

The four were brought to the Mariveles PCG sub-station and later turned over to the Bataan PCG station in Lamao, Limay town where Philippine Red Cross personnel treated their minor wounds.

“They’re still in trauma but they’re OK. They requested not to be interviewed,” Carlos said.

He added that he received a report that one unnamed crew was saved by a fisherman from Batangas and turned over to the Calatagan (Batangas) PCG sub-station.

Carlos said the boat skipper reported that a crew, Sonny Ruado, 50, has died as he was not able to survive strong and big waves.

The fatality was left in the sea with the body tied to a floating empty container, he added.

Carlos said they were still investigating the cause of the fire although the boat captain hinted that it was caused by faulty electrical wiring.

“No signs of oil spill,” he added.

Carlos said they received a distress call at 2:45 a.m. when the vessel was at the vicinity of La Monja Island in Cavite.

According to him, the two boats continued the search for the missing crew in the Cavite and Batangas areas.
MV Virginia I is a general cargo vessel made of wood known as batil that plied the route from Manila to Palawan.

It was bound for Palawan with the boat captain and 10 crew when the accident happened at the route also used by international vessels.

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