Police reported that in the fishing harbour of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, more than 40 mechanized boats were extensively damaged in a massive fire. The incident unfolded when a fire ignited on a boat anchored at a jetty around midnight, leading to the explosion of its diesel engine.
Subsequently, the flames rapidly extended to nearby boats, culminating in the entire Visakhapatnam fishing harbour being engulfed in the blaze. The aftermath highlights the substantial impact on the local maritime infrastructure, necessitating a thorough assessment of the damage and an ongoing investigation into the root cause of the initial fire outbreak.
A group of fishermen at the harbour promptly raised an alarm, notifying the police about the unfolding fire incident. Responding swiftly, the police, accompanied by three fire tenders, rushed to the scene. Additional reinforcement, consisting of another three fire tenders, was deployed to extinguish the fire. Deputy Commissioner of Police in Visakhapatnam, K Anand Reddy, informed reporters that approximately 40 boats were completely destroyed in the blaze. The coordinated response aimed to mitigate the impact of the fire, and authorities are now actively engaged in assessing the extent of the damage caused by the incident.
Fishermen at the harbour raised an alarm, alerting the police. Upon learning about the fire, the police quickly arrived with three fire tenders, and three more followed to extinguish the flames. Deputy Commissioner of Police, K Anand Reddy, informed reporters that approximately 40 boats were completely destroyed in the fire.
He mentioned that although the fire has been effectively controlled, the reason behind it is still unknown. “No casualties or injuries were reported in the incident. The Visakhapatnam police registered a case of accident and are investigating the case,” the DCP said.
Local fishermen suspect foul play, believing that unknown individuals intentionally set the fishing boats on fire. The Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association president, Vasupalli Janakiram, revealed that the boats, carrying fish worth ₹5-₹6 lakh each, returned from sea just before the fire erupted. The total loss is estimated at around ₹30 crore, but fortunately, no casualties were reported as the fishermen had already disembarked for the night.
“The chief minister said the government would stand by the fishermen who lost their livelihood and directed that the authorities extend all possible assistance to them,” an official release from the chief minister’s office said.
Telugu Desam Party general secretary Nara Lokesh and state unit president K Atchannaidu both conveyed their distress regarding the fire incident in separate statements.
“The government should provide new mechanised boats to all those who suffered losses and take necessary steps to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” Lokesh said in a statement.
Image source: Hindustan Times