Welder killed, five others hurt in barge explosion


  GEORGE TOWN: A welder was killed and five other people suffered minor injuries when the barge they were repairing exploded before catching fire at the Gat Lebuh Macallum shipyard in Weld Quay,here Tuesday.

  The tremor from the explosion was felt up to 2km away.

  Yaser Abdullah,60,suffered severe burns in the 10.45am incident and died while receiving treatment at the Penang Hospital at about 2pm.

  Penang fire and rescue department (JBPM) director Saadon Mokhtar said firefighters arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after receiving a distress call and found six men, aged 35 to 72, caught in a fire involving an empty barge.

  The barge was believed to have exploded before it caught fire, he told reporters at the scene.

  “We believe that there was gas vapour in the compartment below the area where the victims were conducting repair work and welding sparks may have triggered the explosion,” he said.

  Saadon said the other five victims were sent to the Penang Hospital for treatment.

  The fire was brought under control at 11.08am and was put out completely about 20 minutes later,he said.

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