A Vietnamese man died in an arson incident aboard a Korean fishing boat in South Africa Saturday night local time (early Sunday Vietnamese time), local officials said.
Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesperson of Cape Town disaster risk management center, said in a News24 report that the victim Ho Xuan Tung, 29, was found burnt beyond recognition on the Hwa–Tsan, then docked near shore.
He said 25 other crew members, coming from several Asian countries including China, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam were rescued. “Upon arrival of the emergency services and disaster response teams, smoke was billowing from the vessel,” he said.
The spokesperson said interviews with the crew members showed that “in the course of [a] conflict, the vessel was purposefully torched.”
The Cape Times said the fire raged for more than four hours on the long-liner fishing vessel until after 1 a.m. on Sunday (local time).
It cited Solomons-Johannes as saying that efforts by firefighters were hindered by strong winds and a tug boat was put close by to dowse the blaze.
He said the accident has been informed to the embassies of the victims’ countries.
Police are investigating.
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