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Batangas-bound argo ship catches fire in Recto Bank

Cargo ship catches fire in Recto Bank

A car-carrier vessel bound for Batangas has been on fire since late Saturday near Recto (Reed) Bank, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Monday.

Capt. Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, identified the cargo vessel as M/V Diamond Highway, which is operated by K-line and was bound to Batangas from Singapore. The fire started at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday (June 15).

As of 1:39 p.m. on Monday, Balilo said the fire was still razing the ship, while its 25 crew members were rescued already by bulk carrier Canupos Leader en route to Thailand.

He said all crew members were safe, as per initial report of rescuers.

The owner of the ship tried to contact the ship at first, but to no avail.

He added that the BRP Cabra, one of the Parola-class patrol vessels of PCG, was on its way to Recto Bank to put the fire out and that another ship was also sent off for firefighting.

In a phone-patch interview, Balilo said he was not sure if the ship was totally razed, but said that it was probable that the ship had cars onboard since the M/V Diamond Highway was on its way to Batangas to apparently deliver vehicles.

No further details were given on how the fire started, as their operatives were still conducting rescue operation and investigation as of this writing.