KARACHI: A huge fire that broke out at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Boat Building Yard in the Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA) in the early hours of Tuesday burnt over half a dozen wooden boats and took firefighters more than eight hours to put out, officials and sources said.

The fishermen and boat builders said the fire broke out within a few seconds aro­und 2am and started spre­ading very quickly eng­ulfing five newly-built giant fishing vessels docked at the yard.

“Initially two fire engines were rushed to the spot and they arrived within five minutes after the fire incident was reported,” said an official at the harbour. “The number of fire engines was increased and back up was also called in from the KPT and the DHA. At least eight fire brigade vehicles carried out the operation with more than 50 firefighters. Such facilities with wooden stuff are always at risk of fire amid gusty winds and low humidity.”

He said the exact reason for the fire was not known yet, and that the estimated value of the loss incurred during the blaze was in millions. The owners of the destroyed boats blamed the authorities for delay in putting out the blaze.

A Sindh Rangers spokesperson, on the other hand, said the intensity of the fire was severe and the process of cooling took a few hours.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2020