By Betheena Kae Unite
A cargo ship loaded with liters of gasoline caught fire and exploded as it was leaving Hayanggabon Port in Claver, Surigao del Norte, a belated report from the Philippine Coast Guard said.
The “Jenua-2”, according to its skipper Raul Barquez, 49, of Socorro, Surigao del Norte, caught fire on August 10 when the its engine was about to start. Barquez told the Coast Guard that a spark from the starting battery triggered the explosion.
The vessel was supposed to deliver 20,000 liters of gasoline to Dapa Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.
A team from the Clearing Out Post Hayanggabon, who was near the area, responded to prevent the fire from spreading. Teams from other agencies and volunteers arrived and rescued the seven crew members onboard.
Two of them were brought to the Caraga District Hospital in Badas, Surigao del Norte after sustaining minor injuries, the Coast Guard said.
It was declared fire out on the same day, however, there was also a concern of oil spill since the vessel was loaded with gasoline.
A team installed an oil spill boom around the ship while the Marine Environmental Protection Unit in the province conducted an assessment.
Further investigation and installment of measures to prevent the repeat of the incident have been enforced by the interagency team, the Coast Guard said.