Phuket

Lightning blamed for Customs boat blaze

AO MAKHAM: Lightning may have caused a fire aboard a 50-foot Customs inspection boat moored at the Deep Sea Port at about 10 pm on Sunday. Chanai Nakzsup, the Transportation Administrator at the Phuket Harbor Master’s Office, said, “I saw the top of the boat was on fire, and everybody was helping to put it out.” He added that it took officers 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze. “We don’t know the exact cause of the fire. It is possible that it was started by lightning,” said K. Chanai. “It is also possible that the boat’s engines were still running and that a spark set some oil afire,” K. Chanai added. “But normally there’s a security officer on board and he is very careful.” Amid worries that the glass-fiber Sunlakarkorn 502 might sink, the boat was crane-lifted out of the water to prevent fuel from spilling into the sea. Pol Capt Rusada Kleongwong, of Phuket Town Police Station, said, “At first we thought that lightning set the boat on fire, but we have been investigating other possible causes.” “Less than 30% of the boat was damaged by the fire, and I think it may be possible to repair it. It has been taken to Ratanachai shipyard,” he added.

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