Tuna boat burns in Manzanillo. Tuna boat burns in Manzanillo.

Environmental damage probed after Manzanillo tuna boat fire

Firefighters worked for 24 hours to extinguish the blaze

The environmental protection agency Profepa has begun evaluating possible environmental damage from a fire on a tuna boat on Tuesday in Manzanillo, Colima.

The fire started around noon on the María Verónica, which was about to leave from the Fondeport pier.

Shortly before the boat caught fire, workers were doing maintenance welding on the boat, but the cause of fire is still not known. The María Verónica was carrying 680 liters of diesel fuel, which created a column of black smoke when it was consumed by the fire.

The port’s emergency response team, which includes navy firefighters, arrived at the scene to fight the fire and contain leaks of harmful materials. More than 1,200 people were evacuated from around the port, which was shut down for several hours.

After around 24 hours, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. There were no casualties.

The boat is owned by the company Grupo Mar, which produces the Tuny brand of canned tuna.

Profepa inspector Javier Martínez said the agency has been monitoring air and water quality near the port to see if it has been affected by the fire, and that it will carry out a more thorough investigation.

He added that flame retardant used in the firefighting effort did not have any negative effects on water quality.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp), El Noticiero en Línea (sp), Excélsior (sp)

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