Saturday, April 17, 2021

Boat explosion in Zambo kills 1, 4 injured

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A wooden boat loaded with 200 barrels of gasoline exploded at a wharf in the southern Philippine port of Zamboanga, killing one person and wounding 4 others, officials said Saturday, adding, another crew member is missing and believed to have perished from the blaze.

A wooden boat loaded with fuel explodes at a wharf in the seaside village of Baliwasan in Zamboanga City. (Zamboanga Post)

Photos released by the Bureau of Fire shows the remains of the ill-fated boat ML Saida Mae.

A wooden boat loaded with fuel explodes at a wharf in the seaside village of Baliwasan in Zamboanga City. (Zamboanga Post)

The explosion occurred around 10.20 p.m. Friday near a seaside depot in Baliwasan village.

One person said the boat was loaded with fuel and scheduled to sail for Sulu province when the blast occurred just as the engine was started. It was unclear whether the engine or the boat’s generator sparked a fire that led to the explosion.

Firemen rushed to the area to extinguish the blaze as a thick, huge black smoke could be seen billowing from the burning boat. The fire was put out 8 hours later, according to City Fire Marshall Jacqueline Ortega.

Ortega said 2 other crew members Almajil Sabita and Benhar Idami were unhurt from the explosion.

The lone fatality was identified as Jimlani Malib Rini while the injured were boat captain Jilamad Addah, Mawar Najar Haminon, Jupakkal Ahamad and Nurhan Ahamad Amping, who all suffered second degree burns. The fate of the missing crewman Mujib Masaraja Abdurasid is still unknown.

The powerful blast could be heard as far as the village of Tetuan, about 4 kilometers away from the wharf. “We thought it was a bomb blast. The explosion was so loud that we rushed out of the house to see what’s going,” said Jun Custodio in Tetuan. 

In February 2019, a boat carrying 110 barrels of fuels and 35 cylinders of cooking gas also exploded in the Baliwasan wharf and wounded 2 people. (Zamboanga Post)

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