Cause of Dubai explosion unknown, no injuries reported


Published: 2021-07-08 10:35

Last Updated: 2024-05-27 10:03

Cause of Dubai explosion unknown, no injuries reported
Cause of Dubai explosion unknown, no injuries reported

Dubai firefighting teams controlled a fire that broke out on Wednesday night on board a ship in Jebel Ali Port, the main port in the south of the emirate. No injuries were reported. 

At least four residents in the vicinity of Jebel Ali told AFP that they heard the sound of the explosion and the shaking of the doors and windows of their apartments and homes in the south of the emirate, which rarely witnesses major accidents.

The Dubai government media office said in a tweet on Twitter early Thursday that "the civil defense teams in Dubai are currently dealing with a fire caused by the explosion of a container on board a ship in Jebel Ali Port."

The office announced in a second statement that "the fire is under control and there are no deaths or injuries as a result of the accident in Jebel Ali Port," noting that "all necessary measures have been taken to ensure the normal flow of ships' movement in the port."

The statement pointed out that "the concerned authorities are controlling with high efficiency the last stage of a fire that broke out in a container on a ship preparing to dock on one of the berths of Jebel Ali Port, away from the port's main shipping line."

Video footage released by the emirate's government media office showed firefighters trying to put out the fire behind a group of containers.

An AFP photographer from the port gate saw clouds of smoke rising from the interior and a helicopter flying over the site.

The causes of the accident are not yet known, but Dubai police told local TV channels that three of the 130 containers on board the ship "contain flammable materials."

The police indicated that the number of crew members of the ship is 14.

- the glass vibrates

-Jebel Ali Port is a major transport and trade hub in the Middle East and North Africa, which is capable of handling aircraft carriers and was the busiest U.S. Navy port outside the United States in 2017, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service.

Such events are rare in the wealthy Gulf emirate, which depends on trade and tourism and is considered one of the safest cities in the region.

"I was on the balcony, my friend saw a yellow ball like the sun, I took a picture and that's when the explosion happened," Clemence Aufe, who lives in an apartment near the area of the accident, told AFP.

In the Marina area, a few kilometers from the port, a resident said, "I saw the glass vibrate. I've lived here for 15 years and this is the first time I've seen and heard such a thing."

Jebel Ali Port handled 14.1 million containers in 2019, down 5.6 percent from the previous year. The port is among the top ten in terms of container handling and business worldwide.

8,000 companies are based in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, which contributed about 23 percent of Dubai's GDP last year and is the largest commercial area in the Middle East.

Over the past 50 years, the Emirate of Dubai has transformed from a sleepy coastal city into a regional hub for travel, trade and financial services.

Dubai is home to more than three million people, most of them foreigners, compared to just 15,000 in the 1950s.