Wealthy Global ship, a craning ship from Vanuatu weighing 25,000 tons with a lifting capacity of 5,000 tons, caught fire on Front Beach of Vung Tau City on Sunday. It ran aground in this location over three years ago.
The fire broke out at 5:30 pm and spread rapidly on the ship, which was carrying 80 acetylene cylinders and 9,000 liters of diesel, reported Vung Tau Port Authority.
The ship, which is nearly 200 meters long and 50 meters wide, ran aground on Front Beach in Vung Tau in July 2010, the agency said.
At the time of the fire, there were 31 people on the ship, including three Vietnamese, 12 Burmese, 13 Thais, and three Hong Kong technical specialists, said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Nhuan Quynh, commander of border guards in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
After learning of the incident, the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center for Zone 3 sent a rescue boat, SAR 413, to the scene to help extinguish the fire.
Concerned agencies sent powerboats to the ship to take all the crewmembers ashore safely and remove 3,000 liters of diesel and about 30 acetylene cylinders from the ship.
However, firefighters and rescuers said they found it hard to access the ship due to powerful waves and strong winds.
At 8 pm firefighters left the boat, fearing it might explode, and at 10 pm, the provincial government sent three more boats to the scene to extinguish the flames.
It is believed that the fire was caused by the recklessness of workers who used acetylene from cylinders to weld on the ship.
At 10:30 yesterday night, the fire was not yet extinguished and efforts to put it out continued, said Le van Thuc, deputy director of Vung Tau Port Authority.
On July 15, 2010, the anchor rope of the ship broke when the vessel was docked off Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City. The ship then drifted all the way to Vung Tau where it ran aground days later.
In March 2013, provincial authorities fined the ship’s owner VND15 million (US$720) for failing to remove the ship from the beach.
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