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LABUAN: A fire broke out early today on board an MISC Berhad chemical/palm oil tanker in Labuan, Sabah, MISC said in a statement.
It said the Bunga Alpinia, a 38,000 DWT IMO II vessel, had 29 crew, comprising 23 Malaysians and six Filipinos.
"At present, 24 (crew) have been safely brought ashore while five are still unaccounted for," MISC said.
The vessel was alongside the Petronas Methanol Sdn Bhd terminal in Labuan when the incident took place at about 2.30 am.
"No further details of the incident are available at this point," the statement said.
It added that all authorities had been notified accordingly and MISC was working closely to render necessary assistance.
Firefighters were at the scene in an effort to put out the blaze, and the ship could be seen listing following the fire and explosion that rattled Labuan. Search and rescue crew were also scrambling to locate the missing persons.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad said that it was undertaking all necessary action to ensure the safety of all personnel at its subsidiary, Petronas Chemicals Methanol Sdn Bhd, where the fire incident took place.
Following the incident, the operations of the Patau-Patau Power Station owned by Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) located adjacent to the terminal was temporarily halted for safety reasons.
SESB managing director Abdul Razak Sallim (rpt) Sallim said this was to enable the fire and rescue personnel to take the necessary preventive and safety measures.
The channelling of gas from Petronas Chemicals Methanol to the Patau-Patau power station was stopped immediately until after the situation returned to normal and it was safe, he said in a statement.
Abdul Razak said the temporary shutdown was expected to affect SESB's capability to channel electricity to all consumers in duty-free Labuan.
He also said that several emergency measures to meet the shortfall in electricity generation capacity would be implemented, including Demand Side Management (DSM), during the period of peak demand.
Rationing of electricity supply would only be implemented in stages if the implementation of the DSM was unable to cope with the demand and the station could not operate at optimum capacity, he said.
The Patau-Patau Power Station has the capacity to generate 103.5MW of electricity, and is the only power station in the Federal Territory of Labuan. -- BERNAMA