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It is learned that the incident occurred in the waters off Sulawesi in Indonesia, but it remains unclear when it exactly happened.Courtesy of NST reader

KUANTAN: Two viral videos of a barge laden with red soil breaking in half in the middle of sea did not take place in Malaysian waters.

Kuantan Port chief operating officer Mazlim Husin dismissed claims that the incident had taken place at the South China Sea near Kuantan as alleged on social media.

"There is no such incident in the waters of Kuantan, and furthermore the mineral laden on the barge is not bauxite as claimed but nickel ore. The video which has gone viral on social media was recorded in a foreign country," he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, Beserah assemblyman Andansura Rabu said allegations that the barge broke into two while transporting bauxite near Kuantan before it sunk into the sea were false.

"I have been receiving calls on the matter and I confirm that the video was not taken in Malaysia. It could have originated from elsewhere. It did not happen near Kuantan Port as claimed by some irresponsible parties.

"The public is advised to not spread the video as this will only raise panic among the fishermen or those living near the coastal areas. Please obtain information from genuine sources before sharing any video or pictures," he said.

It is learned that the incident occurred in the waters off Sulawesi in Indonesia, but it remains unclear when it exactly happened.

The 2 minutes and 40 seconds clip showed a group of fishermen, believed to be Indonesians, trying to rescue an excavator operator after the barge which he was working on broke into half and began to sink. The man was seen wading through the red-stained sea before he was rescued by the fishermen.

In another 30-second clip, the barge broke into two at the middle before it started sinking.

The clip which has been circulating on social media since morning today was shared with the caption: "Tongkang membawa muatan bauksit terputus dua diperairan Laut Cina Selatan (berhampiran Kuantan), belum ada laporan kemalangan jiwa (Barge carrying bauxite broke into half at South China Sea (near Kuantan), no casualties reported).”

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