Ferry with more than 500 passengers catches fire in the Philippines

Soldiers prepare to receive rescued passengers from the capsized MB Nirvana.
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

TACLOBAN CITY-A passenger vessel caught fire early Saturday morning shortly after docking at the pier in Ormoc City, Leyte.

Ormoc Coast Guard commander Giovanni Bergantin told the Inquirer in a phone interview that as of 9 a.m., fire fighters were still working to put out the blaze that engulfed MV Wonderful Stars of Roble Shipping Lines.

He said that based on the initial report, there was no reported casualty in the fire that broke out from the crew's quarters around 3 a.m.

The vessel came from Cebu, carrying 544 passengers, 17 of whom were children.

The passengers had just disembarked from the vessel when the fire of still unknown origin broke out.

In July, the ferry M/B Kim Nirvana capsized off Ormoc, killing 61 passengers.