Two dead after tanker fire in Philippines

A fire broke out at the weekend on a small tanker identified as the Horse at the Philippine port of Batangas. Two crewmembers were reported to have died as a result of the incident.

At about 09:00 local time on Sunday October 22nd Philippine Coast Guard Station Batangas received a call from staff at the local VTS operator, reporting a fire at the Batangas anchorage area.

The PCG contacted local disaster-assistance and firefighting agencies to prepare to respond to the blaze, while launching a search-and-rescue operation for survivors.

Three tugs located near the burning tanker acted as good Samaritans quickly brought their firefighting capabilities to bear. PCG personnel and local firefighters joined the effort, and the fire was declared out just after 11:00.

One badly burned survivor was rescued by a good Samaritan fishing vessel and brought to a hospital for treatment.

Two bodies were recovered from the scene, including one found towards the bow and another pulled from the water. The deceased had evidence of burns and may have been thrown clear of the ship by an explosion, a PCG spokesman told the Philippine Star.