Indian fisherman charred to death in fishing boat fire, 5 others hurt

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An Indian fisherman from Tamil Nadu was charred to death and five others injured in a major fire that gutted four fishing boats in the Rams area of Ras Al Khaimah last evening.

According to the Indian Association (Ras Al Khaimah), the tragedy occurred around 6.30pm on Tuesday when the men were getting ready to go out for fishing.

Sami Viswanathan, 30, who was one of the six fishermen in the local fishing boat, was charred to death following a major fire in the boat, which is said to have been ignited from a spark generated from the boat’s battery, and immediately spread to the diesel stored in the boat for the return trip.

Thulasi Sucy, another fisherman who is seriously injured, is undergoing treatment at the Al Sakhir Hospital, hospital sources said.

“The fishermen were getting ready to start for the night operation and a huge fire started from the battery. The fire spread immediately because of the diesel kept inside the boat for the return trip. It is a common practice to store diesel for the return trip,” said a source familiar with the accident.

The fire spread to four other boats owned by a UAE national and the Civil Defence came immediately to control the fire, by which time the six fishermen in the boat were trapped inside the burning boat.

“One fisherman died due to severe burn injuries and his dead body is beyond recognition. Therefore, we are trying to bury him in the UAE. One is seriously injured in the fire, currently admitted in the Al Sakhr Hospital, Ras al Khaimah. Four others who sustained burn injuries have been discharged from the hospital after treatment,” said S.A. Saleem, President of Indian Association Sharjah, who is overseeing the burial.

“We are trying to get compensation for the family. Sami hails from Puthukotta in Thiruchirapally, Tamil Nadu and has been working in the fishing boat for about four years. He is married with two children and was the only bread earner,” Saleem added.


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