RMN­land­ing craft catches fire

Short-cir­cuit cause of blaze, says de­fence min­is­ter

The Star Malaysia - - NATION -

LU­MUT: The Royal Malaysian Navy’s big­gest land­ing craft, KD Sri In­der­a­pura, caught fire while berthed at the naval base here.

The ves­sel, which was sched­uled to trans­port lo­gis­tic goods to the Markas Wi­layah Laut Dua in Kota Kin­a­balu on Mon­day, caught fire at about 6.30am yes­ter­day.

Fire­men were try­ing to put out the fire from the naval dock­ing yard and from a boat on the sea, as­sisted by the Malaysian Mar­itime En­force­ment Agency, lo­cal tug­boats and em­ploy­ees from the Boustead Naval Ship­yard.

As at 3pm, smoke was still seen bil­low­ing from the ves­sel as fire­men con­tin­ued to fight the blaze.

The seventy-seven crew mem­bers, in­clud­ing six of­fi­cers and 22 trainees, who were on duty on board the ship dur­ing the in­ci­dent, were not in­jured.

This is the sec­ond time the navy ves­sel has caught fire. The first was in 2002.

The KD Sri In­der­a­pura was built in 1970 and had been used by the United States Navy af­ter it was com­mis­sioned as the USS Spar­tan­burg County.

On Dec 16, 1994, the ship was handed over to the Malaysian navy.

It was one of sev­eral navy ves­sels that had es­corted Malaysian trad­ing ships against pi­rate at­tacks in the Gulf of Aden in So­ma­lia last year.

In Port Dick­son, Ber­nama re­ported De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi as say­ing that the Gov­ern­ment would pro­pose to buy a new land­ing craft to re­place KD Sri In­der­a­pura as the 40-year-old ves­sel could no longer be used.

Zahid said ini­tial re­port showed the fire to have been caused by a short-cir­cuit.

He said a detailed probe was be­ing car­ried out by an in­ves­ti­ga­tion board that had been set up to iden­tify the cause of the fire.

Blaz­ing fire: KD Sri In­der­a­pura on fire at the Lu­mut Naval base yes­ter­day.

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