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Philippine Navy says Subic Bay ship fire was a drill.

MANILA, Oct. 20 Kyodo The Philippine Navy clarified Wednesday that a fire that supposedly broke out on a commercial passenger vessel off the coast of Subic north of Manila was just part of a fire drill.

Earlier Wednesday, due to miscommunication among Philippine authorities, it was reported some 214 people were rescued from the MV Palawan Princess, which supposedly had caught fire while about 11 kilometers off Subic in Zambales Province.

The vessel was actually in Manila Bay during the fire drill.

Subic is about 80 km north of Manila.

Navy officials said the passenger vessel was merely simulating a fire situation while docked in Manila Bay, but their radio transmissions were picked up by the Philippine Coast Guard and messages were relayed to Subic officials.

Search and rescue operations were terminated by mid-afternoon after it was learned that it was only a fire drill.

But the authorities did conducted search and rescue operations for more than three hours before the mistake was discovered.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Oct 25, 1999
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