After a ferry carrying around 250 people and its crew caught on fire in the southern Philippines, 31 people died.
Coast Guard Commodore Rejard Marfe confirmed the death or drowning of 28 victims in the blaze.
Jim Hataman (the governor of Basilan in the southern island province close to where the ferry caught on fire) said that 31 people had been killed.
At least seven passengers are still missing.
According to Mr Hataman, the MV Lady Mary Joy 3 was en-route to the Sulu Province from the southern port of Zamboanga. It caught fire at midnight local time.
In a passenger cabin, 18 bodies were found.
He added, “These victims perished aboard due to the fire.”
At least 23 passengers sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital. It was found that there were additional passengers not listed on the vessel documentation.
“Some passengers were awakened by the fire and commotion. Some people jumped from the ship,” Mr Hataman stated.
Accidents at sea are a common occurrence in the Philippine archipelago due to frequent storms and poorly maintained boats. In remote areas, there is also a lot of overcrowding and a lack of safety and health regulations.
Seven people were killed last year when a high speed ferry carrying 134 passengers caught fire.
After the collision of a fuel tanker and the ferry Dona Paz, more than 4300 people were killed. It is known for being the worst maritime accident in peacetime.