Maritime Safety Agency helicopter. | Alejandro Sepúlveda

Investigators have concluded that the fire on a boat south of Cabrera on Friday was deliberately started by the five crew.

At the time, the boat was still in Algerian waters, but the crew were aware that the Guardia Civil had the boat under surveillance from a distance. It was being used to transport drugs, and the fire was intended to destroy evidence. But it got out of control, a fuel tank exploded, and one of the crew, a 42-year-old Russian, suffered burns from which he later died.

He was taken by a Maritime Safety Agency helicopter to Son Sant Joan Airport in Palma and then transferred to Son Espases Hospital. Given the seriousness of his burns, doctors considered transferring him by air ambulance to the specialist burns unit at the Vall d'Hebrón Hospital in Barcelona

However, his condition deteriorated and doctors felt that the chances of him dying while en route to Barcelona were high. As it was, he passed away around 2pm.

Related news

One other crew member was injured, but not seriously. All four surviving crew are under arrest.