A disastrous fire accident occurred on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday at the Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour, where over 40 fishing boats were damaged. According to sources, a cylinder blast in one of the boats caused the fire, eventually spreading to over a hundred boats, of which 60 were saved. LPG cylinders in the boats exploded, causing havoc in the harbour. The diesel in the vessels added fuel to the fire, turning 25 mechanised fishing boats into ash.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Anand Reddy revealed there were no casualties, and an investigation is underway. It is learnt that each boat costs around 40-60 lakhs, rounding off the estimated loss to 15 crores. Those at the harbour at the time of the accident suspect that a few anonymous miscreants caused the fire accident in an inebriated condition.
City Police Commissioner A Ravi Shankar IPS stated that the fishermen de-anchored the boat that first caught fire from the dock and sent it adrift. Nevertheless, the flames spread to the adjoining vessels in a quick span. The CP added that a few youngsters were partying on the boat which caused the fire. Stating that the Indian Naval Ship Sahara helped in dousing off the fires, Commissioner Ravi Shankar communicated that the case would be investigated from all angles.
District Fire Officer S Renukayya said, “12 fire tenders were pressed into action with the help of the National Disaster Response Force.” CM Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered Seediri Appalaraju, Minister of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, and Dairy Development of Andhra Pradesh, to personally examine the fire accident at the Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour. The CM also instructed the officials to compensate the fishermen who lost their boats and do the needful. Whether the fire accident was caused intentionally or not is yet to be ascertained by examining the CCTV footage.
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