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Jakarta Post

Police name three suspects in Muara Baru boat fire

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, March 3, 2019   /   02:35 pm
Police name three suspects in Muara Baru boat fire Over 30 vessels were destroyed in a fire in Muara Baru, North Jakarta on Feb. 23. Police have named three suspects in the incident and charged them under Article 188 of the Criminal Code on negligence leading to fire. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak)

The Jakarta Police have named three suspects in the fire incident at Nizam Zachman fisherman port in Muara Baru, North Jakarta, on Feb. 23.

They are welder Sugih Ardiansyah, welding supervisor Wilis Susanto and boat captain Tino.

According to the police's investigation, the suspects were carrying out a repair inside the machine room of the Artamina Jaya vessel before the incident occurred. They welded some material, sparking a fire which later engulfed 34 fishing boats.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said they were suspected of neglecting standard safety procedures in carrying out the boat repair.

"They knew the procedure but they didn't follow it. The procedure stipulates that when welding, the room has to have a blower, an oxygen supplier and a heat vacuum," Argo said as quoted by kompas.com on Saturday.

Moreover, two out of three suspects, Sugih and Wilis, apparently did not have a license to weld.

"When someone works not in accordance with the procedure and causes a fire, it’s likely they acted in a negligent manner," Tanjung Priok Port Police crime unit chief Adj. Comr. Faruk Rozi said.

Sugih, Wilis and Tino are charged under Article 188 of the Criminal Code on negligence leading to fire, explosion and flooding, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

Based on the investigation on the scene, when the fire sparked, it quickly ignited fuel before spreading to the whole room, Faruk explained.

The fire burned more objects, including ropes that tied the vessel to the dock, causing it to detach from the dock.

"The boat began moving in a random direction, hitting and burning other boats that were also made of fiber and wood," Argo said, noting that strong winds on the coast at the time of the incident caused the fire to spread even faster.

Firefighters managed to put out the fire the following day.

The three suspects told the police they had left the scene even before the fire sparked. They said they had no idea how the fire started.

Material losses caused by the incident reached approximately Rp 23.4 billion (US$1.6 million) according to the figure retrieved from boat owners whose vessels were destroyed in the fire.

"Of 34 boats, we've recorded material losses from 20 boats. We're waiting for the other 14 boats to report their losses," Argo added.  (vla)