TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A tugboat towing a sand barge caught fire in the waters of the Thousand Islands on Monday, September 21, 2015, at approximately 02:00PM local time. "TB Mitra Anugerah 10 caught fire in the waters near Bokor Ilsand," said the Thousand Islands Police Chief, John Weynard Hutagalung.
According to John, the barge was carrying sand from Semangka in Lampung, and was bound for Kalijapat, Jakarta with a load of sand for the powerplant in Ancol. However, its' engine caught fire before it manages to reach its' destination.
The fire began to spread and the ship began to pick up speed - up to seven knots. As the fire began to rage out of control, continued John, the tow link between the barge and the tugboat had to be severed near Karang Island.
According to John, the incident was only reported to the authorities in the Thousand Islands at 07:30AM local time - when eight of the ship's crew joined forces with firefighters and members of the Thousand Islands Police to search for the barge and to put out the fire. "Three went looking for the barge, while five others went to fight the fire," he said.
The Head of Thousand Islands Police's Criminal Investigation Unit, Adj. Comr. Supriyanto, the fire was successfully put out at 10:45AM local time. "The barge was found approximately 30 minutes before we managed to extinguish the fire," he said, before adding that the sand was not delivered for reclamation purposes.
HUSSEIN ABRI YUSUF