The fire broke out at around 12:10 p.m. and the fast craft which carried 75 passengers from Bohol, sank at around 2:00 p.m.
Admiral Ramon Liwag of the Philippine Coast Guard said
there were three fatalities including the ship's second-in-command captain, Abelardo Torevillas
Initial investigations showed the fire was caused by a faulty electrical wiring in the engine room.
Reports said the ship captain ordered the passengers
and the crew to abandon the ship when fire started to engulf the sea craft. Help came from nearby sea crafts which were alerted by the Coast Guard to assist in the rescue operations.
The Philippine Coast Guard said
one more passenger remains missing.