Three hurt, 30 ships destroyed in blaze


Man versus fire: Firefighters trying to extinguish the flames at the Muara Baru port in Jakarta. — Reuters

Jakarta: A fire in Muara Baru, Penjaringa, on the coast of North Jakarta, destroyed about 30 vessels and injured three people.

“We have yet to ascertain the exact number of vessels that were destroyed.

“So far, we predict that 30 vessels were razed in the fire,” North Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency head Satriadi Gunawan said yesterday as quoted by kompas.com.

The agency received a report of the fire at 3.16pm on Saturday. A fire and rescue team arrived at the scene four minutes later.

Twenty-three fire trucks were deployed, extinguishing the flames by 5.16am the next day.

When the fire and rescue team arrived, only three vessels were ablaze, but strong winds and the vessels’ position – anchored side by side – allowed the flames to spread easily and quickly, Satriadi said.

Three people were taken to Atma Jaya Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation – two employees from a factory located near the scene and a fire rescue officer.

Thick, black smoke from the blaze also prompted police to evacuate workers from nearby fish and shrimp factories.

Tanjung Priok Police chief Sr Adj Comr Reynold Hutagalung said the fire had been started by welding activities on one of the vessels.

“We believe the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit from welding activities on the Artamina Jaya,” he said on Saturday.

Police are questioning seven eyewitnesses, including the captain and crew members.

The extent of the damage caused by the fire is still unknown. — The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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