Trips back to nor­mal af­ter ferry blaze

ARGAO-TAGBILARAN ROUTE Reg­u­lar trips from the south­ern town of Argao, Cebu to Tagbilaran City, Bo­hol has im­me­di­ately re­sumed yes­ter­day af­ter the lone ves­sel serv­ing the route caught fire Sun­day noon.

The Freeman - - NEWS - B. Mi­asco/FPL — May

The Philip­pine Coast Guard said that Lite Ship­ping Cor­po­ra­tion has re­placed M/V Lite Ferry 28 with its sis­ter ves­sel M/V Lite Ferry 26, also a roll-on roll-off ves­sel. The ship’s trip opened at 5 a.m. yes­ter­day from Taloot wharf in Argao to Tagbilaran City.

Coast Guard Argao sub­sta­tion com­man­der Chief Petty Of­fi­cer Gerry Pate­nio said the Lite Ferry pas­sen­ger and cargo ves­sel is the only ship serv­ing the route.

Pate­nio said that the two sched­uled trips last Sun­day were can­celled af­ter the fire in­ci­dent.

M/V Lite Ferry 28 caught fire on Sun­day be­fore it reached the Taloot wharf. All 92 pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing four mi­nors, and the crew mem­bers were safely res­cued. The ves­sel de­parted from Tagbilaran City at 8 a.m. on Sun­day and was sched­uled to ar­rive at 11 a.m.

Ac­cord­ing to one pas­sen­ger, at 10:40 a.m. one of the crew mem­bers an­nounced that the ves­sel was about to dock Taloot wharf. Min­utes later, peo­ple started to panic af­ter see­ing dark smoke com­ing out from the en­gine room.

For­tu­nately the pas­sen­gers were trans­ported to safety be­fore the fire grew big­ger. Ac­cord­ing to the ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion of CGSS-Argao, the fire started from the over­heated ex­haust man­i­fold at the en­gine room. The ill-fated Lite Ferry 28 was towed yes­ter­day to Ouano Wharf in Man­daue City for a hull in­spec­tion by the Mar­itime In­dus­try Au­thor­ity.

AM­BRAD MITZI

This is how the bridge of M/V Lite Ferry 28 looks like af­ter it was gut­ted by fire Sun­day.

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