In a devastating incident last night, approximately 25 fishing boats were reduced to ashes at a Vishakhapatnam harbor, incurring a staggering loss estimated between ₹4-5 crores. The Indian Navy was called in to contain the massive fire, surpassing the efforts of multiple fire engines struggling against the relentless flames.
Vishakhapatnam Police Commissioner Ravi Shankar revealed that the fire originated on a fishing boat late at night, initially isolated but eventually brought back to the jetty by winds and water flow, engulfing neighboring boats. The presence of diesel containers and gas cylinders on the boats intensified the inferno, turning the entire jetty area into a blazing spectacle.
Amidst the chaos, suspicions emerged among fishermen, pointing fingers at potential criminal involvement in the boat fires. Additionally, there’s speculation that a party aboard one of the boats might have triggered the catastrophic event. Shocking visuals captured firefighters battling the flames while distraught fishermen witnessed their livelihoods being consumed by the fire.
Explosions resonated through the harbor as fire reached fuel tanks, causing panic in the vicinity. Senior police officer Ananda Reddy confirmed that the fire erupted around 11:30 pm, emphasizing the dangers of cylinders on the boats leading to explosions. Despite the chaos, no casualties were reported, and an investigation has been initiated with a case filed.
Police Commissioner Ravi Shankar has announced a comprehensive, multidisciplinary probe to unravel the mystery behind the incident. Given that the fishing harbor falls under the jurisdiction of the Vizag Port Trust, the investigation will involve collaboration between port, fisheries, and police authorities.