A massive fire erupted at a Visakhapatnam jetty, destroying around 25 boats and causing widespread panic in the area. Investigators are now looking into a potential connection between the fire and a young YouTuber who gained fame for sharing fishing videos. The YouTuber is currently being questioned as police suspect that the fire might be a result of a rivalry and a monetary dispute.
The police sources revealed that the YouTuber had a dispute with some individuals, and it is believed that these rivals intentionally set fire to one of his boats anchored at the harbour. The incident occurred late at night, and upon noticing the fire, fishermen and local residents attempted to contain it by cutting off the burning boat. Unfortunately, wind and water movements brought the boat back, leading to the ignition of at least 25 boats.
The situation escalated due to the presence of diesel-filled tanks and gas cylinders used by fishermen for cooking on many of the boats. These fuel sources contributed to the intensity of the fire, causing explosions that added to the fear in the area. Additionally, the flammable nature of fishing gear, including nets, worsened the situation.
Despite efforts by fire engines, they proved insufficient to control the raging fire. Eventually, the Indian Navy was alerted, and a Navy vessel successfully extinguished the flames using a combination of sand, foam, and chemicals. The local authorities estimate that the damage amounts to nearly ₹5 crore, with each boat costing ₹15 lakh. Tragically, most of the affected boats were uninsured, compounding the losses for the fishermen.
Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner Ravi Shankar has announced a multidisciplinary probe to uncover the root causes of the incident. The fishing harbour falls under the jurisdiction of the Vizag Port Trust, and the investigation will involve collaboration between port, fisheries, and police authorities.
Amidst the aftermath, the Opposition Telugu Desam Party criticized the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government for alleged lapses in implementing security measures in the highly sensitive shipyard area. Nara Lokesh, TDP’s national general secretary, called for a generous response from the government, urging the provision of new boats and improved compensation, particularly for the underprivileged victims affected by the accident.
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