Video: Cargo Ship Catches Fire in Southern Indonesia

fire aboard a cargo ship in Indonesia
Fire aboard a cargo ship docked in southern Indonesia (Basarnas Cilacap)

Published Dec 3, 2021 6:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief]  An Indonesian-flagged bulk carrier transporting fertilizer caught fire while docked at the port of Cilacap, on the southern coast of the island of Central Java. Indonesia’s national security and rescue agency Basarnas responded to the fire and assisted with the evacuation of the crew without injuries.

“According to the crew’s statement, the point of the fire is not yet known,” a Basarnas official said describing the fire. He reported that the crew said suddenly there was thick smoke possibly coming from the accommodations area of the ship. Other reports however suggested that the ship might have suffered an engine fire. The fire started at around 7:15 am local time on December 1 and was extinguished later the same day.

The 44-year-old ship, the MT Sumantri Brodjonegoro was reportedly transporting a cargo of fertilizer. The 11,196 dwt ship, with a crew of 26, was apparently docked at the time of the fire.

Basarnas reported that it was assisted by the Cilacap Naval Base, local police, harbormaster, and port authority in the evacuation and to fight the fire. Initially, the crew along with a neighboring vessel attempted to fight the fire before a tugboat also came alongside. They evacuated 21 members of the crew while five remained aboard to assist in fighting the blaze.

Local authorities said they would board the ship when it was safe to begin an investigation to “determine whether the fire was due to negligence or international elements.” Local and regional police will lead the investigation.