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All 85 passengers and crew aboard burned ferry safely rescued in Philippines

The last two unaccounted-for people on board the M/V Asia Philippines had taken a different ferry, according to authorities.

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Coast guard personnel help in controlling the fire on M/V Asia Philippines (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Coast guard personnel help in controlling the fire on M/V Asia Philippines (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Coast guard personnel help in controlling the fire on M/V Asia Philippines (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

All 85 passengers and crew on board a ferry that caught fire south of Manila have been safely rescued with the search effort now ended, Philippine officials said.

The last two passengers thought to be unaccounted for on the M/V Asia Philippines, which was carrying 47 passengers and 38 crewmembers, turned out to have taken a different ferry.

They were earlier believed to be onboard the cargo and passenger vessel that was hit by fire on Friday as it approached its destination port in Batangas province, coast guard officials said.

The ferry, which came from Calapan city in Oriental Mindoro province, was about a mile away from the Batangas port when smoke emerged from the second deck followed by flames, forcing many passengers to jump into the water in panic, according to one of the rescued passengers.

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Philippine coast guard personnel and volunteers have rescued more than 80 passengers and crew after the fire broke out (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Philippine coast guard personnel and volunteers have rescued more than 80 passengers and crew after the fire broke out (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Philippine coast guard personnel and volunteers have rescued more than 80 passengers and crew after the fire broke out (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

They were plucked from the water by coast guard personnel, nearby bancas and tugboats.

A ship also helped the coast guard extinguish the fire on the ferry, which was later towed to an anchorage area as an investigation into the cause of the fire began, the coast guard said.

Inspectors reported that the 16 vehicles carried on the inter-island ferry were not damaged.

The ferry’s proximity to the port allowed the rapid rescue of all the victims, one of whom was brought to a hospital with injuries, officials said.

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