A fire that broke out on a container ship in Dubai’s main port following an explosion has been bought under control with no casualties reported, the emirate’s media office said Thursday. At least three residents in the area of the blast, the cause of which remains unknown, reported windows and doors in their homes were shaken as a result of the incident.
The blaze sent up giant orange flames on a vessel at the crucial Jebel Ali Port, the busiest in the Middle East, which sits on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula – but authorities said the situation is under control. Authorities posted footage on social media of firefighters dousing giant shipping containers. The glow of the blaze was visible in the background as civil defence crews worked to contain the fire. The combustion unleashed a shock wave through the city, shaking buildings and windows in neighbourhoods as far as 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the port. The extent of damage caused to the sprawling port and surrounding cargo was not immediately clear. An AFP correspondent at the scene said there was a helicopter circling overhead as smoke rose from the tightly secured facility. The port is capable of handling aircraft carriers and was the US Navy’s busiest port of call outside of the United States in 2017, according to the US Congressional Research Service.
The port authority said it was “taking all necessary measures to ensure the normal movement of ships in the port continues without any disruption”, according to the Dubai Media Office. Such events are a rarity in the ultra-secure Gulf emirate, one of seven which make up the wealthy United Arab Emirates.