Ajman: Three men died and five others suffered burn injuries when a fire broke out at a tanker used to transport crude oils in Ajman port on Monday, a senior official at Ajman Civil Defence told Gulf News on Wednesday.
Brigadier Saleh Saeed Al Matroshi, Director of Ajman Civil Defence Department, said the tanker was transporting oil to UAE. The accident took place at around 2:30pm when the tanker stopped at Ajman port; the captain and crew were out of the vessel at the time of the incident, he said.
Al Matroshi said the fire lasted only few seconds and was put off by the time firefighters reached the port.
The Civil Defence team conducted an inspection and found three bodies inside the vessel; five other sailor with first and second degree burns were taken to hospital, Al Matroshi said.
The injured were taken to Khalifa Hospital in Ajman where doctors described their condition as critical.
An official at Ajman port, who preferred not to be named, told Gulf News that the sailors who are from India and Bengladesh were waiting for their out passes to go back to their home country when the accident happened .
Human error triggered the accident, said an official. "The fire happened due to the fault of a sailor who was cleaning near the oil tanks using chemical materials" the official said.
Al Matroshi said 12 workers were on board at the time of the accident, four survived, five badly injured and three died.
Al Matroshi said, a witness told Civil Defence that a worker was using a vacuum cleaner to clean the ship, which malfunctioned and led to the fire.
The vessel was handed over to Ajman Police who started an investigation and a fire expert visited the site.