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Fiery explosion on a Dubai container ship shook the busiest port in the Middle East-National

A fiery explosion occurred on a moored container ship Dubai Authorities said the entire commercial center was shaken in one of the world’s largest ports on Wednesday night. United Arab Emirates.

There are no reports of casualties and it is not clear what caused the explosion.

The fire spewed huge orange flames from a ship in the busiest port of Jebel Ali in the Middle East.Jebel Ali is located on the east side of the Arabian Peninsula and is also the busiest port of call for US warships outside the United States.

The burning released shock waves in the city of Dubai, causing the walls and windows of a community 25 kilometers (15 miles) away from the port to vibrate. Residents shot a fireball on their tall building to illuminate the night sky. The explosion is powerful enough to be seen through satellites from space.

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Approximately 2 1/2 hours after the explosion, the civil defense team in Dubai stated that they had controlled the fire and started the “cooling process.” Authorities posted footage of firefighters watering water on giant containers on social media. When civil defense personnel tried to control the fire, the light was still clearly visible in the background.

The extent of damage to the spreading port and surrounding cargo is unclear. The aftermath video shared on social media showed burnt containers, ashes and scattered debris.

The absolute power and visibility of the explosion indicate the presence of combustible material. The Dubai authorities told the Saudi-owned Arab TV station that the crew had been evacuated in time. The fire appeared to have started in a container containing flammable materials, but did not elaborate.

The director of the Dubai Media Office, Mona al-Marri, tried to play down the explosion. He told Al-Arabiya that the incident “could happen anywhere in the world” and the authorities are investigating the cause.

Jebel Ali Port at the northern end of Dubai is the world’s largest man-made deep-water port, serving cargo from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Asia. The port is not only an important global cargo hub, but also the lifeline of Dubai and the surrounding emirates, and an entry point for important imported goods.

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The Dubai authorities did not confirm the identity of the disaster-hit ship, only that it was a small ship that could hold 130 containers.

Ship tracker MarineTraffic shows that a group of small support ships surround a container ship called Ocean Trader that is docked in Comoros. Live footage broadcast by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency showed firefighters washing a vessel with paint and logos corresponding to the Ocean Trader operated by Dubai-based Inzu Ship Charter.

At noon on Wednesday, the Marine Trader docked in the port of Jebel Ali. Ship tracking data shows that the ship has been sailing along the coast of the UAE since April. The United Nations Ship Database identified the ship’s owner as Sash Shipping. Sash and Inzu Ship Charter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jebel Ali Port is operated by Dubai-based DP World, with a handling capacity of more than 22 million containers and a huge terminal that can berth some of the world’s largest ships. Port officials stated that they “are taking all necessary measures to ensure that the vessel continues to sail normally without any disturbance.”

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

Associated Press writer Jon Gambler of Hamilton, Ohio contributed to this report.

© 2021 Canadian Press

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