A devastating fire ravaged the harbour in Visakhapatnam late last night, reducing at least 25 fishing boats to ashes and resulting in an estimated loss ranging between ₹4 to 5 crores. The inferno, which required the intervention of an Indian Navy vessel to control, caused extensive damage as multiple fire engines struggled to contain the blaze.
According to Vishakhapatnam Police Commissioner Ravi Shankar, the fire originated on a fishing boat during the late hours. Efforts were made to isolate the boat and prevent the flames from spreading, but adverse weather conditions led the boat back to the jetty, causing the fire to quickly engulf nearby vessels.
The incident was exacerbated by diesel containers and gas cylinders on the boats, intensifying the fire and engulfing the entire jetty area. Suspicions abound as fishermen speculate that the blaze might have been instigated by criminals or triggered during a party on one of the boats.
Footage from the scene depicted firefighters battling the flames while distraught fishermen watched helplessly as their livelihoods were consumed by the fire. Panic ensued in the area due to blasts in some boats, possibly caused by the fire reaching fuel tanks.
Senior police officer Ananda Reddy stated that the fire erupted around 11:30 pm, causing cylinder explosions, prompting authorities to caution bystanders. Investigations into the cause of the fire are underway, with no reported casualties. Commissioner Ravi Shankar assured a comprehensive multidisciplinary probe into the incident, involving port, fisheries, and police authorities.
The fishing harbour, under the jurisdiction of the Vizag Port Trust, will be subject to thorough scrutiny to ascertain the cause behind the destructive fire.
Sources By Agencies