Major fire on board MV Chowra averted, audit to estimate losses underway

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL/JYOTI
Port Blair
23 Mar 2018

A major fire on board MV Chowra was averted by fire fighters at Phoenix Bay on Friday. The mishap occurred in the wee hours today when smoke was noticed in the cabin crew of the vessel. Four fire tenders and two dousers were rushed to the spot after which the blaze was brought under control. While electrical short-circuit is believed to be cause of the fire, an audit is reportedly being conducted to assess the damages caused in the mishap.
Sources informed that the fire was reported at around 3.20 am on board the vessel, MV Chowra today. The ship crew tried to douse the fire using fire extinguishers and other appliances, but failed as they were not in operational state. The Marine Fire Station was accordingly informed after which Sub Inspector Vijay Bahadur and Assistant Sub Inspector, N Suresh of Fire Services led their team for the fire fighting operation at around 3.40 am.  Senior officials from the office of the Chief Fire Officer, Andaman and Nicobar Fire Services soon reached the spot. After a meticulous operation, the fire was brought under control preventing major damages to the passenger vessel.
“It was near chaos at the port area when fire was noticed on board MV Chowra. Short-circuit in one of the electrical appliance installed in the crew cabin of the vessel is said to be the reason for the mishap. A couple of seaman lost some of their documents in the accident, which caused damages to at least three cabins of the ship. It is said that the fire hose installed in the Port area did not function because of which there was some delay in calling the fire services personnel.  Fire fighters, however, rushed to the spot immediately and doused the fire. A safety audit of all vessels of the Shipping Department should be conducted through the Fire Services Department to prevent such accidents in future,” said some residents of Phoenix Bay.
Speaking to EOI, the Deputy Director of Shipping Services, Mr Veeraiah said that the fire mishap occurred in the early hours today on board the vessel. “The fire was brought under control in time and there have been no casualties. Minor damages have been reported, while detailed assessment to find out the reasons of the mishap will be conducted,” he informed.