A fire swept through a portion of the pier at the Isla Cristina fishport in Spain’s Huelva province at around 07:00 local time on Tuesday, May 5.
The fire also ended up damaging three trawlers which were docked close to each other at the pier.
The country’s Salvamento Maritimo search and rescue (SAR) agency immediately despatched boats to help put out the blaze on the fishing vessels and tow them to safety. However, one of the trawlers became engulfed in flames and sank within minutes.
The other two trawlers remained afloat following the incident with one having sustained heavy damage.
Rescuers were also able to safely evacuate three injured fishermen from the distressed vessels. Two of them were brought to separate hospitals in Seville to be treated for burns while the third individual suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene by responding medical personnel.
An initial investigation revealed that the fire, which had also damaged some of the facilities at the pier, was caused by an explosion which had occurred on the trawler that eventually sank.
Local authorities are working to determine the circumstances that led to the explosion and the ensuing blaze.
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