People trying to douse the blaze on a houseboat in Alappuzha
Alappuzha: Sixteen passengers and crew were rescued after a houseboat caught at Vembanad lake near Pathiramanal Island here on Thursday noon.
The houseboat named Oceanus carrying 16 tourists from Kannur district and three crew members, had started its journey from Kumarakom. Around 1.15 pm, near Pathiramanal Island, crew onboard another boat (number 54) owned by the Kerala State Water Transport Department (SWTD) noticed fire on the side of the houseboat.
The houseboat passengers and crew were alerted and they jumped into the water. The fire quickly spread and flames engulfed the houseboat in a matter of minutes.
One of the tourists was carrying a six-month old child. Luckily for the tourists, the water was only five-foot deep. The SWTD boat rescued the tourists while other small boats rescued the crew. By that time, the houseboat was completely burnt.
The fire started near the kitchen on the houseboat. It is assumed that LPG leak or short circuit triggered the blaze.