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Six Dead in Fishing Vessel Fire in Durban

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Image courtesy KwaZulu-Natal EMS

By The Maritime Executive 2019-02-15 12:30:21

Six are dead following a fire aboard the fishing vessel Tropical 1 at the port of Durban, South Africa, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reported Friday. 

The fishing vessel was docked at Durban for repair work when it caught on fire at about 1430 hours on Thursday, killing six crewmembers and injuring three more. Firefighters with KwaZulu-Natal EMS responded to the scene and brought the blaze substantially under control by about 1800 hours, with response efforts continuing through the night. The bodies of the victims were discovered at about 0200 hours on Friday.

Image courtesy SAMSA

Image courtesy SAMSA

Image courtesy SAMSA

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and an inspection of the vessel will begin once conditions allow. 

SAMSA said Friday that bodies of the deceased crew have been brought to a mortuary in Durban. Five of the deceased were Mozambican nationals, and the sixth crewmember was of Portuguese origin. 12 surviving crewmembers are receiving assistance from South African authorities. 

It is the second deadly casualty at the port of Durban this week. On Tuesday, a heavy truck accidentally drove backwards off the pier during stevedoring operations at the port's M-Shed, leading to the death of the driver. The victim and the truck were recovered from the water, and local police have launched an inquest. 

Image courtesy SA Police Service

Image courtesy SA Police Service