Fri, 25 Feb 2000

Police struggle to put out fire

JAKARTA (JP): Tanjung Priok Seaport (KP3) Police officers were still desperately trying on Thursday evening to put out a fire on a cargo ship.

KP3 Police chief Lt. Col. Edward Aritonang said port workers were seeing off the Wasian ship, which was supposed to set sail for Jayapura, Irian Jaya, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, when they saw smoke rising from the storage area in the ship's hold.

"That storage area contained paper, paints, thinners ... we are still not sure what caused the fire, except that it's difficult to put it out.

We tried pulling apart the door of the storage area, but it did not work," Aritonang said.

"We have already pumped the water out of the ship. As of 6 p.m. today (Thursday), the ship is at a 65 degree tilt. Smoke and fire is still coming out of that ship... everybody's still working to put it out."

He added that police had questioned two bystanders, who were local workers at the port, over the matter. (ylt)