Manila: Nine people were missing and one injured after a ferry caught fire in a port near the Philippine capital Manila on Friday, the Coast Guard said.

Emergency services rescued 73 of the 82 people on board the MV Asia Philippines, which caught fire near Batangas port, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Among them was a middle-aged woman who was taken to hospital with injuries, and nine others were still missing, he added.

Two Coast Guard search and rescue vessels were still searching for missing persons and trying to put out the flames in the evening hours after the ferry had caught fire about 1 nautical mile (1.85 km) from shore. I was doing it.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

The vessel, carrying 48 passengers, 34 crew members and 16 vehicles, departed from the nearby port of Calapan on Mindoro Island in the mid-afternoon, the Coast Guard said.

The ship is authorized to carry 402 passengers, he added.

An archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines suffers from inadequate shipping, with poorly regulated vessels prone to overcrowding and accidents.

At least one person was killed when a Philippine ferry caught fire off central Bohol in June.

In May, seven people died when a ferry carrying 134 passengers and crew caught fire at the port of Real, east of Manila.

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