More than 30 fishing boats were gutted in massive fire at a harbour in Vishakhapatnam late last night. Multiple fire engines were rushed to the spot struggled to douse the flames, following which an Indian Navy vessel was called in to extinguish the fire.
The first started on one of the fishing boats docked at the harbour and soon spread to many more. Each of the boats cost around 15 lakh.
According to Vishakhapatnam police commissioner Ravi Shankar, the boat in which the fire first broke out was cut off and sent a drift to ensure it doesn’t spread.
However, winds and the flow of the water brought it back to the jety and other boats also caught the fire.
“The boat was cut off and sent adrift to ensure the fire did not spread to the others. But the winds and water flow brought it back to the jetty. Soon, the other boats were burning too,” he said.
Police said that there were diesel containers and gas cylinders on the boats, which added more fuel to the fire and it spread to the entire jetty.
Some of the fishermen have reportedly alleged foul play and claimed that someone intentionally set the boat on fire. However, there are suspicions that the fire was triggered by a party in one of the boats but the actual cause will be known after the investigation.
Several videos of the incident also circulated on social media which showed fire fighters struggling to douse the flames as fishermen stared helplessly. Gas cylinder blasts on the boats also triggered panic in the area.