Disaster responders in Lapu-Lapu City took about 10 hours to put out the fire in an abandoned vessel off the shores of Punta Engaño in Cebu.
The vessel, identified as MV Diamond Highway, caught fire at past 2pm yesterday. It was declared fire out at past midnight today, Saturday.
Based on the investigation of the Philippine Coastguard, the vessel ran aground in the area during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette last December 2021.
“They were doing salvage operations up to the present,” said Ltjg. Stephen Pagcaliwagan, spokesperson of PCG 7.
They used tugboats with firefighting capabilities along to put out the fire.
However, in the middle of the operation, they had to temporarily stop.
“Due to derangement of cooling supply of its water cannon,” explained Pagcaliwagan.
Apparently, they had to wait for another boat, MTug. Aludra, which was the vessels’ sister ship for additional assistance to the incident.
According to Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Chief Nagiel Bañacia, all 23 workers of MV Diamond Highway were rescued safely.
They were trying to dismantle the vessel when the incident happened.
“The acetylene spilled and it fell on paint which caused the fire,” said Bañacia in Cebuano.
It was also the workers who asked for help as some were trapped at the top part of the vessel.
The Bureau of Fire Protection is still conducting a deeper probe to the cause of the incident, including the estimate of its damage.
-- Report by Annie Perez