Four persons suffered burns after the boat, in which they were preparing to venture into sea for fishing, caught fire reportedly owing to short circuit while switching on the engine, at Kakinada fishing harbour in East Godavari district on Friday.
The injured have been identified as Boddu Nookaraju, Malli Yerrayya, Mugi Dhanayya and Dydupalli Suribabu. The boat is registered with the East Godavari district Fisheries Department.
All the four belonged to Visakhapatnam district and were engaged in fishing from Kakinada Harbour. Nookaraju’s condition was said to be critical. All of them had been shifted to Government General Hospital in Kakinada, East Godavari SP Adnan Nayeem Asmi said.
The fire occurred when the crew attempted to start the engine by joining two wires of the battery. They had filled the oil tank before starting the engine and the fuel that fell on the boat led to the spread of the fire to the remaining par of the boat, the police said.
The Port police and port authorities swung into the action to control the fire, but a major portion of the boat was gutted by then. The incident occurred at around 1.30 p.m.
Backward Classes Welfare Minister Ch. Venu Gopala Krishna has ordered an inquiry into the incident. The Minister visited the hospital and inquired about the health of the injured.
The district officials will probe the incident. The State government is prepared to provide medical treatment to the injured. The owners of the fishing boats should ensure safety of the crew, Mr. Venu Gopala Krishna said.