KOTA KINABALU: A cargo vessel carrying petrol exploded and caught fire while anchored off northern Pulau Banggi near Kudat late Wednesday, killing its skipper and a passenger and injuring three others, including the skipper’s 10-year-old son.
In the 7pm incident, skipper Jaafar Janidil, 61, and passenger Azmain Nawali, 45, were killed, said Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Sabah and Labuan) regional director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som.
He said Jaafar’s two sons – Mohd Kamarudin, 26, who was a crew member, and Mohd Nasaruddin, 10 – sustained severe burns.
Also seriously injured was crewman Sahlan Ashadan, 27.
Two patrol vessels that responded to a distress call rushed the injured to the Kudat district hospital.
Zubil said Jaafar and Azmain were friends, and the latter had hitched a ride from Kudat to Banggi on board the boat to return to his home on the island.
He said the local cargo vessel had been transporting about 10,000 litres of petrol to Banggi.
The vessel had anchored off Kampung Padang and the crew was in the process of transferring some of the fuel to the village when the explosion happened.