KOTA KINABALU: Three people were killed and four others injured after an explosion ripped through a fishing trawler and destroyed two other boats in Sabah's northern district of Kudat.
It is believed that the blast occurred after a faulty cooking gas cylinder exploded near the boat's diesel-loaded fuel tank, sparking off the bigger explosion and setting the boat ablaze.
The flames quickly spread to two fishing boats berthed next to the trawler at the Angkasa Baru jetty in Kudat town, which is about 215km from here, at about 9.40pm on Sunday.
The remains of the three dead two women and a man whose identities have yet to be ascertained were found floating near the trawlers yesterday.
The four injured, including a woman, managed to save themselves by jumping into the sea. One of them was seriously injured but reported to be in stable condition.
Kudat police chief Deputy Supt Dawi Ossen said investigations were ongoing.
“Beat policemen were patrolling near the area when they heard a loud explosion.
“They rushed over and saw the flames engulfing the trawlers,” he said.
DSP Dawi said no foul play was involved in the incident, adding that firefighters managed to douse the flames and prevent the blaze from spreading to other nearby vessels.
He said the injured, aged between 21 and 50, suffered burns and fractures while the dead were all believed to be foreigners.
Meanwhile, the bodies of a woman and her son have been recovered after a homemade raft they were on capsized at a river in Kampung Lihak-Lihak in Semporna three days ago.
Hajarah Kadin, 44, and Mohamad Nawi Norhati, 14, were on board the engine-powered raft which was carrying a lorry and a car when it tipped over in the strong current.
Semporna police chief Deputy Supt Mohd Azim Khan Abdullah said the raft was a normal mode of transportation for villagers to cross the 50m-wide river.
Hajarah and her son were sitting in the lorry with the woman's brother Rusmi while four others were in the car when the accident happened.
The rest managed to swim to safety after the raft overturned.
Hajarah and her son could not get out of the lorry in time. - theStarOnline