By southwest with AFP
A container ship fire in the main port of Dubai following the explosion has been brought under control and no casualties have been reported.
At least three people have been living near the site of the blast, and the cause of the blast is unknown.
The Dubai Communications Service (Dubai Media Office, DMO) tweeted that “the fire caused by an explosion inside a container on a boat in the port of Jebel Ali has been brought under control and no casualties have been reported”.
The ship had 130 containers, three of which contained flammable materials, ”Dubai police told local television stations.
A video accompanying the tweet shows firefighters carrying themselves on a large boat, from which thick white smoke billows out.
A helicopter was also dispatched to the scene, which was in a state of extreme security and inaccessible. Jebel Ali port officials promised to “take all necessary measures so that the normal movement of ships in the port can continue without any hindrance,” the DMO said.
I “saw the windows move”
Jebel Ali is headquartered at DP World, an Emirati company that is one of the world’s leading port operators managing 49 terminals worldwide.
The largest port in the south of the Emirates is capable of accommodating aircraft carriers and was the most active U.S. naval port outside the United States in 2017, according to a research service by the U.S. Congress.
Such events are rare in the highly-secured city-state, one of the seven presidents that make up the United Arab Emirates.
“I was out on my balcony. My friend saw it coming yellow like the sun. I took the photo, and then (a noise) ”tweeted a user who lives near the site of the explosion.
A resident of Marina County, near the port of Jebel Ali, declared, “I saw the windows shaking.” I have lived here for 15 years, and this is the first time I have seen and heard this.
Jebel Ali Port handled 14.1 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit, unit of measurement for containers) in 2019, down 5.6%, but it still ranks in the top 10 in the world.
There are about 8,000 companies in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) that accounted for 23% of Dubai’s GDP last year. It is the largest trading area in the Middle East.
In 50 years, the Emirate has grown from a small port city to a regional crossroads for transportation, trade, tourism and financial services.
Poor in oil, Dubai has a very different economy from the Arab Gulf countries, attracting workers from all over the world to different industries.
Of the approximately 3.3 million people living in this city-state known for its taste for consumption and luxury, more than 90% are foreigners.