Fire seriously damages grounded ropax ferry off Cebu, Philippines

Ropax ferry Trans-Asia 1, which went aground off the island of Cebu, Philippines, last December, caught fire at the weekend and burned for more than 12 hours. The damage appeared to be extensive.

The 1980-built vessel was operated by Cebu-based Trans-Asia Shipping Lines. It was blown aground during Typhoon Odette, hitting the coastline just across the bay from Cebu City. A skeleton crew has been stationed aboard to keep up the ship. The eight crew on board when the fire broke out were evacuated safely, although two were taken to hospital for medical attention

According to the Philippine Coast Guard, the fire broke out at about 02:00 local time Saturday morning in the vessel’s economy passenger area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and Trans-Asia is evaluating the damage and looking at options for recovering the ship.  “Rest assured that the Trans-Asia Management Committee is on top of the situation to ensure the crew’s safety and well-being,” the company said.