Hyderabad: The National Fire Service Day was observed at various fire stations across the city on Wednesday (April 14th). The National Fire Service Day is observed every year on April 14th, in memory of the 71 brave fire personnel who lost their lives fighting the fire that broke out on the Freighter SS Fort Stikine at the Victoria Dock in the then Bombay Port on April 14, 1944.
The Fire department officers and the staff in Hyderabad, Telangana, paid tributes and remembered those fire personnel who lost their lives fighting the fire as part of their duty on that day.
The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response and Fire Services officials also observed the National Fire Service Day by conducting a commemoration parade in Vijayawada on Wednesday (April 14th).
The freighter SS Fort Stikine was carrying a miscellaneous cargo of cotton bales, gold, ammunition consisting of almost 1400 tons of explosives and it caught fire; which was followed by two gigantic blasts.
The intensity of the fire accident was such that it led to the death of hundreds of people including 71 Fire personnel. The recorded history of this event also throws light on the impact that was so massive that it shook the ground in Shimla, which was 1,800 km away from the blast point.
It was reported, that the blast not only split the ship into 2 halves but broke windows in the 12 km radius. It was said to be heard at a distance of 80 km. The fire engulfed the entire surrounding area, killed around 800- 1300 people, and caused nearly 11 vessels to sink near the site.