ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two people died while three others were wounded when a wooden-hulled vessel loaded with some 150 drums of fuel caught fire late Friday night here.
Maj. Chester Natividad, Zamboanga City Police Office’s (ZCPO) Station 11 chief, said the fire broke out around 10:20 p.m. while the vessel, M/L Saidamae, was moored at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan.
Police investigation showed the fire started when the vessel’s mechanic, Mauar Najar Hamimon, switched on the engine.
An explosion followed shortly, Natividad said, adding that the responding firefighters tried to put out the blaze, to no avail.
The crewmen, who died in the fire after they failed to get off the vessel, were Mujib Andam and Rene Jimlani.
Natividad said the skipper, Jilam Madda, and Hamimon were wounded as they were thrown overboard by the explosion.
Another crew, Jupajal Ahamad, was injured and taken to the Zamboanga City Medical Center together with Madda while Hamimon was rushed to the Zamboanga Brent Hospital.
Natividad said two other crew, Benhar Idani and Almujil Sabital, were brought to ZCPO’s Station 11 to shed light on the incident.
Chief Insp. Jacqueline Ortega, Zamboanga City Fire District marshal, said they managed to put out the fire around 6:35 a.m.
Authorities estimated the worth of property damage at PHP2 million. Teofilo Garcia, Jr. / PNA – northboundasia.com