At least 25 mechanized fishing boats were reduced to ashes in a major fire in the Vizag fishing port

At least 25 mechanized fishing boats were reduced to ashes in a major fire in the Vizag fishing port

At least 25 mechanized fishing boats were destroyed at the Visakhapatnam fishing port, adjacent to the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), under the South Visakhapatnam Assembly constituency, early on Monday.

There was no loss of life in the incident but there was property loss of around Rs 15 crore as the cost of each boat is around Rs 40 lakh. Some boats caught fire due to fuel tanks and liquefied gas cylinders, causing a state of panic in the area.

A badly damaged boat, destroyed by a major fire, at the fishing port in Visakhapatnam on November 20, 2023. | Image source: V Raju

“At least 25 fishing boats could have been destroyed,” Visakhapatnam city police deputy Anand Reddy told reporters at the scene around 1 a.m.

Talking to HindusVisakhapatnam Regional Fire Officer Niranjan Reddy said they received an emergency call about the incident around 12.30 am on Monday and the fire was brought under control at 4.30 am. A total of 14 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.

He added that the services of eight fire engines from AP Fire Department, Visakhapatnam Port (3), Vizag Steel Plant (1), HPCL Refinery Visakh (1) and Coromandel (1) were used to control the fire. Apart from this, a fire tug of the Eastern Naval Command has also been roped in to effectively control the major fire, Mr. Reddy said.

Mr. Reddy added that the cause of the fire is still unknown and is being investigated by the police. But police sources said that there was an alcohol party taking place on one of the boats and a quarrel occurred between two groups on the boat, which could lead to a fire, as alcohol was spilled on the boat. This corner is being investigated and the police are trying to identify the people.

Firefighters use foam to contain smoke after a fire incident at the fishing port in Visakhapatnam on November 20, 2023 | Image source: V Raju

The fishermen suspect that some criminals may have set the boat on fire at midnight.

When contacted, Arjeli Das, a senior fishermen and president of the Fishermen Youth Welfare Association, said the government should conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident, otherwise it will become a common phenomenon in the future.

“Rivalry between the boat owners could be another reason as they represent different political parties and business houses. If the police identify the first boat from where the fire broke out, background of the owner, etc., then one can come to some conclusions about the reason behind the accident,” Mr. Das said. “.

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(tags for translation)Vizag fire

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