It was reported on 8th October morning news in the TV that KD Inderapura, Royal Malaysian Navy's largest logistics ship caught fire off the coast of Lumut this morning while it had been berthed at the Lumut Naval Base.
The vessel was built in 1970 and had been used by the United States Navy after it was commissioned as the USS Spartanburg County. On 16 December 1994, the ship was bought by the Malaysian navy and used as logistic vessel. The 40-year old vessel was one of the two Malaysian naval ships involved in the special mission freeing the MISC vessels Bunga Melati V and Bunga Melati II, which were held hostage by pirates last year.
The fire was started at 6.23am and was put out later in the afternoon. However, it was towed to the middle of the sea for safety reasons shortly after it caught fire a second time at 8am in the next day. This is the second time the vessel caught fire and is far worse since 2002 fire when it caused damages costed about RM68mil of repair works. During this time, there were several explosions, believed to be more than seven times.
KD Inderapura in the middle of the sea on the 2nd day.
3rd day - Further explosions was heard causing thick cloud of smokes that covering the sky of Teluk Dalam to Teluk Nipah Beach of Pulau Pangkor.
4th day - The vessel is gradually sinking with raging fire further damaging it.
The vessel was seen gradually sinking at the time I was leaving Pulau Pangkor in the afternoon of 12 October. But after that, I did not hear or read any further news on the fate of the vessel.
However, it was reported on The Star that the Government would wait for the Defence Ministry to submit a proposal to buy a new naval vessel to replace KD Sri Inderapura and later the cabinet will decide on it.
My take on this, a typical 'Malaysia Boleh' spirit, take action after it was too late despite the vessel has been very old and already experienced bad damages and costing taxpayer money millions of RM for repair.