Jakarta: A livestock carrier caught fire in the early hours this morning. The Indonesian-flagged ship, Asia Raya (built 1985), was carrying 634 cows. A fire broke out after the ship had left Kupang port in West Timor and was five miles from the port, heading for East Kalimantan.
Early indications suggest the ship was overloaded. It listed causing panic among the crew, some of whom let off rescue flares, which hit the animal fodder and started an inferno. All 37 crewmembers were rescued, some of whom had light injuries.
Authorities were battling to try and evacuate the cows on the ship, however there are believed to have been many cattle who have died in the accident.
The 1,050 dwt ship was badly burned and is now heading for repairs.