A massive explosion occurred on a container ship docked in Jebel Ali Port of Dubai. The explosion sent tremors across the port and the entire Dubai city and also blazed orange flames high up into the sky. Jebel Ali Port is a crucial strategic port of the Middle East and the commercial hub city of Dubai.
Skyscraper-filled Dubai city experienced a shock wave from the combustion of the blast. It also shattered windows and caused walls to shake as farther as 15 miles from Jebel Ali Port. Distraught residents of the skyscrapers filmed on as the fiery ball from the vessel shot up into the night sky.
There have been no immediate reports of any casualty at the port.
The fire came into control around 2 and half hours later under the strenuous efforts of civil defense teams of Dubai. They immediately initiated the cooling process.
Authorities on the site posted footage across social media platforms of brave firefighters controlling the huge shipping container vessels.
The extent of the blast and the subsequent fire on the port and cargo isn’t yet clear. the footage shared on social media platforms showed totally burnt container vessels, ashes and scattered debris on the port.
A fire caused by an explosion within a container on board a ship at Jebel Ali Port has been brought under control; no casualities have been reported. pic.twitter.com/oMTaJhgEYd
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) July 7, 2021
The force of the blast and its visibility suggested the presence of a highly combustible substance at the port. Dubai authorities later stated that the crew of the container vessel evacuated in the nick of time.
They also added that the fire may have started from any of one of the cargo containers holding a `flammable material.’ No further details were revealed.
Downplaying the massive blast, the director-general of Dubai Media Office, Mona al-Marri, stated that accidents like that ‘can happen anywhere in the world’. He added that Dubai authorities are investigating the entire cause.
The Jebel Ali Port in northern Dubai is the biggest man-made deep-water port harbour in the world and holds cargo from across the continents of India, Africa and Asia. Though it is not a critical global port, it surely serves as a lifeline for Dubai and the Middle East. It is due to its strategic location as an entry point for essential imports across the region.
The Jebel Ali Port functions under the Dubai-based DP World and has four terminals for container vessels. These terminals are humongous enough to house some of the biggest ships in the world.
DP World states Jebel Ali Port as a primary and essential “gateway hub” and a “crucial link of the global trading scene” connecting the eastern and western strategic markets. DP World was unavailable for any comment or statement on the blast.
The authorities investigating the blast refused to identify the ship beyond stating that it was a tiny vessel of capacity 130 containers.
Ship and vessel tracker MarineTraffic highlighted a fleet containing tiny vessels that were surrounding a docked container vessel named the ‘Ocean Trader’. The footage also showed firefighters hosing to control fire on a vessel that had paint and a logo similar to the Ocean Trader.
The Ocean Trader vessel docked at the Jebel Ali Port around midday on Wednesday. Ship tracking reports highlighted the container vessel was sailing across the UAE coast since the month of April.
The United Nations ship records identified Sash Shipping Corporation as the vessel owner. Sash and Inzu Ship Charter also was unavailable for any comment.
Reference: The National