The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Police have questioned 12 eyewitnesses in connection to a fire that destroyed 34 vessels in Muara Baru, Penjaringan, on the coast of North Jakarta on Saturday.
"The eyewitnesses are crewmembers, the captain, the vessels’ owner and the harbormaster," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said on Sunday, tempo.co reported.
According to eyewitness testimonies, the fire was allegedly caused by a spark from welding activities on the Artamina Jaya vessel.
North Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency head Satriadi Gunawan said it had taken more than 14 hours to extinguish the fire.
Strong winds, the position of the vessels, which were anchored side by side, and the fact that they were constructed out of wood were among the factors that quickly spread the flames.
The North Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency received a report of the fire at 3:16 p.m. and a fire and rescue team arrived at the scene four minutes later.
Twenty-three fire trucks were deployed, extinguishing the flames by 5:16 a.m. the next day.
On Sunday at 7 a.m., flames were seen coming from five of the shipwrecks. Five fire trucks were again deployed to extinguish the blaze.
Among the destroyed vessels, three were illegal, an official has said.
“We believe that three of the vessels were illegal because they aren’t registered in the database with the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry nor the Transportation Ministry,” the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry's general director general of fishing, Zulficar Mochtar said as reported by kompas.com.
The incident injured three people who were administered to Atma Jaya Hospital for smoke inhalation.
They were two employees from a factory located near the scene and a fire rescue officer. (sau)