Fishermen suspect some criminals set the boats on fire. There is also suspicion that the fire was triggered by a party in a boat.
In Vishakhapatnam, a harrowing incident unfolded as a substantial blaze engulfed a harbor late last night, reducing over 25 fishing boats to ashes. Despite the valiant efforts of multiple fire engines, the inferno proved challenging to contain, prompting the deployment of an Indian Navy vessel for assistance.
Each of the destroyed boats, valued at nearly ₹15 lakh, collectively amounts to an estimated loss ranging between ₹4-5 crores. According to Vishakhapatnam Police Commissioner Ravi Shankar, the fire originated on a fishing boat during the late hours. Attempting to prevent the spread, the boat was isolated and set adrift, but unforeseen winds and water currents brought it back to the jetty. Consequently, the flames quickly spread to neighboring boats, intensifying the catastrophic situation.
The senior police officer said diesel containers and gas cylinders on the boats added fuel to the fire and the entire jetty area was up in flames.
Fishermen suspect some criminals set the boats on fire. There is also suspicion that the fire was triggered by a party in one of the boats.
Shocking visuals from the harbour showed firefighters trying to douse the flames as fishermen stared helplessly at the fire destroying their means of livelihood.
Explosions reverberated through some of the boats, believed to be triggered by the fire reaching fuel tanks, sparking widespread panic in the vicinity.
Ananda Reddy, a senior police officer, disclosed that the fire erupted at approximately 11:30 pm. “Due to cylinders on the boats causing explosions, we urge people to keep a safe distance. Firefighting teams are actively engaged in containing the blaze,” he emphasized. Reddy stated, “The exact cause of the fire is yet to be officially determined. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported at this time. A formal case has been registered, and a comprehensive investigation is currently in progress.”
Police Commissioner Ravi Shankar affirmed that a comprehensive, multidisciplinary inquiry will be conducted to unravel the circumstances leading to the incident.
The fishing harbour belongs to the Vizag Port Trust. So the probe will involve port, fisheries and police authorities.