RESCUED. Some of the motor bancas that rescued passengers of the ill-fated Leyte-bound ferry in the islands of Bohol Sunday afternoon. At least one passenger died and three remained missing after a Leyte-bound ferry caught fire, the Philippine Coast Guard reported early Monday. (Photo courtesy of Marcos Vicente)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least one passenger died and three remained missing after a Leyte-bound ferry caught fire on Sunday afternoon, the Philippine Coast Guard reported early Monday.

Reports reaching the PCG Eastern Visayas district based in Ormoc City, Leyte said some 161 passengers and crew members survived when the fire of still undetermined origin struck MBCA Mama Mary Chloe.

The incident occurred at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the seawaters between Tugas and Tilmobo Islands in Bohol. The vessel was heading to the port of Bato, Leyte.

Of the 161 survivors, 99 were brought to Hilongos port in Leyte; 25 were transported to Tugas port in President Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol; and 37 were ferried to a port in Gaus Island in Bohol.

The ill-fated ferry had 157 passengers and eight crew members. The vessel has a capacity of 236.

“The rescue operation was fast with the help of passengers and crew of motor bancas sailing the sea between Bohol and Leyte area,” the PCG said in its report late Sunday.

The majority of survivors were already turned over to local government officials, according to PCG. (PNA)