Indonesian ferry catches fire during cargo operations

Indonesian ferry catches fire during cargo operations

Photo: Indonesian Navy

Authorities in Indonesia have reported that a fire broke out on a ferry as it was loading vehicles and other freight at the Port of Merak in Banten province on Wednesday, September 6.

The Ro-Pax ferry Mutiara Berkah I was loading cargo prior to departing on a scheduled voyage to Panjang when a blaze ignited on the vehicle deck at around 10:50 local time on Wednesday.

All 139 passengers and crew were safely evacuated by port personnel as emergency response teams from the Indonesian Navy, local fire departments, and other partner agencies arrived on-scene to render assistance.

Officials said the fire on the ferry was still raging as of the afternoon of Thursday, September 7. The vessel has also begun to list, possibly due to the shifting of the vehicle cargo.

Local media reported that five people who were rescued from the burning ferry were brought to hospital and have since been discharged.

Investigators suspect that the fire may have been caused by an electrical short in one of the embarked lorries.

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