Dubai port explosion: fire on ship in Jebel Ali brought under control

Authorities say only minor injuries after container catches fire on small vessel

Read more: minor injuries reported at Dubai port explosion as sailors flee blaze

Fire crews battled a blaze on a ship at Dubai's Jebel Ali Port in the early hours of Thursday morning after an explosion on board the vessel.

Dubai Government Media Office said the fire brigade responded after a blast on an anchored container ship.

Footage showed fire engines hosing down a ship at the port, with scattered debris lying on the surrounding dock.

In a Dubai Civil Defence video, flames and smoke are seen pouring from the damaged vessel, which is right by the dockside.

In a second video, the blaze has been largely brought under control with crews continuing to hose down the ship.

At least one helicopter circled overhead as smoke rose from the tightly secured facility.

Residents heard a loud bang and felt their walls shake several kilometres away shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Images on social media earlier showed a fireball visible from nearby Dubai Marina.

In Business Bay near Downtown Dubai, about 20 kilometres to the north-east, tenants heard a "double blast", while in the Greens, about 6km from Jebel Ali, people felt their homes shake.

"I was outside on my balcony," said intern Clemence Lefaix, who lives nearby and posted a photo of a bright orange light against the night sky in front of apartment buildings.

"My friend saw something yellow coming like the sun. I took the picture and after [there was] a sound."

The government's media office said: "The fire is under control and there are no deaths or [severe] injuries as a result of the accident at Jebel Ali Port."

Jebel Ali Port, at the southern end of the city of Dubai, is one of the world's busiest ports and the largest man-made harbour.

There are 8,000 companies based at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), which contributed 23 per cent of Dubai's gross domestic product last year. It is the Middle East's largest trade zone.

Updated: July 8th 2021, 12:49 PM
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