PCG: All passengers of Leyte-bound ship hit by fire accounted for

CEBU CITY – All passengers of the ship that caught fire and sank off Bohol Sunday, June 26, have been accounted for, the Philippine Coast Guard-Central Visayas (PCG 7) said Monday, June 27.

MV Mama Mary Chloe (PCG photo)
Lt. Junior Grade Krysta Bergantin, spokesperson of PCG 7, said M/V Mama Mary Chloe had 157 passengers and eight crew members when the fire occurred while sailing for Bato, Leyte from Ubay, Bohol.

One passenger died while another was reported missing.

Bergantin said the Coast Guard Substation in Hilongos, Leyte reported that the passenger who was initially declared as missing has already appeared before their office after he was rescued.

The passenger was identified as Andy Toniacao, 32. Toniacao told authorities that he was one of the passengers that were rescued by a passing motorbanca.

Bergantin said investigation is still in progress to determine what caused the fire.

“Allegedly, the fire started at the exhaust fan in the engine room but as to the cause, it is still under investigation. The boat was totally damaged,” said Bergantin.

The PCG 7 Marine Environmental Protection Unit has yet to detect possible oil spill, said Bergantin.

The lone fatality of the accident was identified as Adolfo Rañola, 53.

Bergantin said just like his fellow passengers, Rañola was able to jump off the burning boat. “He was able to jump and he was wearing a life jacket. The body is scheduled to be autopsied to determine the cause of death,” said Bergantin.