A violent explosion on board a major global port in Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — A violent explosion shook the entire commercial center of the United Arab Emirates on a container ship anchored at one of the world’s largest ports anchored in Dubai late Wednesday. Sent.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and it was unclear what caused the explosion.

The flames sent a huge orange flame from a ship in the busiest port of Jebel Ali in the Middle East. Located on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, Jebel Ali is also the port of call for the busiest American warships outside the United States.

The combustion created a shock wave in the city of Dubai, shaking walls and windows 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the harbor. Residents photographed from skyscrapers while a fiery ball illuminated the night sky. The blast was powerful enough to be seen from space on satellite.

Approximately two and a half hours after the blast, Dubai’s civil defense team said it had controlled the fire and started a “cooling process.” Authorities posted footage on social media for firefighters using huge shipping containers. The glow of the flames remained visible in the background while the civil defense team worked to contain the fire.

The extent of damage to the vast port and surrounding cargo was not immediately clear. Video shared on social media in the aftermath showed burnt containers, ashes, and cluttered debris.

The power and visibility of the explosion suggested the presence of flammable materials. Dubai officials told Saudi Arabia-owned Al-Arabiya TV that the crew had evacuated in time and the fire seemed to have started in one of the containers holding flammable materials without giving details. ..

In an attempt to downplay the explosion, Mona Almari, director of the Dubai Media Office, told Al Arabiya that the incident “can happen anywhere in the world,” and authorities are investigating the cause.

At the northern end of Dubai, Jebel Ali Port is the world’s largest artificial deep-sea port, handling cargo from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Asia. Not only is this port an important global cargo hub, but it is also the lifeline of Dubai and the emirates around it, serving as a gateway to important imports.

Dubai authorities did not identify the affected vessel, other than saying it was a small vessel with a capacity of 130 containers.

Ship tracker MarineTraffic showed a fleet of small support vessels surrounding a docked container ship called the Ocean Trader, flagged in Comoros. Video footage of a scene rebroadcast by the United Arab Emirates state-run WAM news agency shows firefighters hunting down a ship with paint and logo for the Ocean Trader operated by Dubai-based Inzu Ship Charter. I am.

Ocean traders anchored at Jebel Ali harbor on Wednesday noon. Vessel tracking data showed that the vessel had been sailing up and down the UAE coast since April. The United Nations Ship Database has identified ship owners as Sash Shipping Corporation. The Sash and Ins Ship Charter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The port of Jebel Ali, operated by Dubai-based DP World, boasts a processing capacity of over 22 million containers and a vast terminal capable of mooring one of the world’s largest vessels. “We are taking all necessary steps to ensure that the normal movement of the vessel continues uninterrupted,” a port official said.

The state-owned DP World describes the port of Jebel Ali as a “gateway hub” and an “important link to the global trade network” connecting the East and West markets. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the blast.

By Isabel Debre and Aya Batrawy

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