SIBU: An express boat under repair berthed at the riverbank at Temalat area in Song caught fire yesterday afternoon with no injuries or fatalities reported.
Sarawak Rivers’ Board (SRB) controller William Jinep who confirmed this, added that the boat plying Sibu-Temalat-Sibu route was not carrying any passenger at the time of incident.
According to Jinep, the boat had berthed at the riverbank when the incident occurred.
The fire which broke out at about 3pm resulted in only minor damages, he disclosed, adding that there were four crew on board at that time.
“The fire lasted only about five minutes with the crew speedily putting it out. The cause of the fire is believed to be due to an electrical short circuit when repairing works were carried out on air-conditioners.
“There were no passengers on board. It was supposed to take passengers to Sibu but the skipper did not do so due to air-conditioning problems,” Jinep told The Borneo Post.
He added: “I commend the action of the skipper who put passenger safety above profit.”
The boat can carry up to 80 passengers.