A passenger ferryboat carrying ~250 people (passengers plus crew) caught fire while navigating between Philippine islands.
At least 31 people were killed and 7 are still missing.
Many of the rescued had jumped off the boat in panic at the height of the fire. They were plucked from the sea by the navy, coast guard, another ferry, and local fishermen.
The search and rescue efforts were continuing Thursday.
Most of those onboard MV Lady Mary Joy III were rescued overnight. However, authorities were double-checking the numbers from the rescue teams, suggesting the figures could change.
The ship was en route to Jolo town (Sulu province) from the southern port of Zamboanga. Close to midnight, it caught fire midway off the southern island province of Basilan.
The dead include at least 3 kids and at least 23 passengers were injured/hospitalized.
Some of the travelers were roused from sleep because of the commotion caused by the blaze. Some jumped off the ship.
According to officials, most of the people who died drowned and were recovered at sea.
The burned ferry was towed to Basilan's shoreline.
An investigation is currently underway.