A ferry carrying about 250 passengers and crew caught fire in the southern Philippines.
The death toll of the incident has risen to 31, according to a Provincial Governor.
Governor Jim Hataman of the southern island province of Basilan said on Thursday that the search and rescue effort was continuing for at least seven missing passengers.
Hataman added that the burned ferry was towed to Basilan’s shoreline, where coastguard personnel and other authorities later discovered 18 more bodies in a budget section of the passenger cabin.
“These victims perished on board due to the fire."
The governor said an investigation was underway and the discovery suggested there were additional travellers not listed on the vessel’s manifest.
The ferry was en route to Jolo town in Sulu province from the southern port city of Zamboanga when it caught fire midway off Basilan.
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