In a massive fire accident in Visakhapatnam harbour, more than 40 mechanised fishing boats were burnt. Port authorities have called special firefighting vessels to control the eruption. As per reports, there were 500 boats in the anchorage at the time of the incident and 100 of them caught fire. While 60 boats could be saved which were partially damaged, but 40 have been completely gutted.Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K Anand Reddy said, five fire tenders were pressed into service to bring the fire under control. So far, there is no report of loss of life, he added.
The fishermen and local police said that the fire that started from one of the boats spread to other boats that were anchored nearby on Sunday night.The police and fire-service personnel said that they will ascertain the exact reasons for the fire-mishap once they bring the fire under control. This accident caused heavy loss to the fishermen as well as the boat owners.Visakhapatnam Joint Collector K. S. Viswanath visited the Visakhapatnam fishing harbour on Monday morning where the massive fire accident took place.Speaking to the media, he said that they have collected the details of the damaged boats, fishermen and boat owners from the Fisheries Department and are assessing the extent of damage in a detailed way. He further informed that the Government will extend support to the affected fishermen and boat owners.
Local fishermen did not rule out foul play, suspecting that unknown individuals might have intentionally set the boats on fire. “All the fishing boats, which had gone into the sea for fishing three days ago, returned to the harbour on Sunday evening. Even before the unloading stock, the fire mishap took place,” Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association president Vasupalli Janakiram said.According to the local fishermen, the loss could amount to around Rs30 crore.chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy directed that the authorities conduct an in-depth inquiry into the cause of accident. He asked fisheries minister Seediri Appala Raju to visit the spot to get the first-hand information.