Ship Catches Fire, Causing Massive Explosion That Shakes Dubai

(Screenshot - Lovin Dubai | لوڤن دبي via Twitter)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A container ship anchored at one of the world’s largest ports in Dubai caught on fire late Wednesday, causing an explosion that sent shockwaves across the United Arab Emirates’ largest city.

Video shared on social media showed a large fire burst from a ship docked at Jebel Ali Port, the largest port in the Middle East. The explosion released a shockwave that shook buildings and windows in areas up to 15 miles away from the port, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The local government’s Dubai Media Office tweeted the fire was caused by an explosion within a container on board a ship docked at the port. The account noted that the fire was being brought under control and no deaths or injuries have been reported.

Authorities also said in a statement early Thursday local time that emergency services were dispatched to bring the fire under control, the AP reported. The Dubai Media Office shared video footage and images on social media that showed firefighters with the Dubai Civil Defense force dousing shipping containers with water in an attempt to put out the fire. (RELATED: Intense Video Captures Moment Propane Explosion Demolishes House)

Maj. Gen. Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, who commands the Dubai Civil Defense force, later told reporters the fire had been brought under “full control” and the cooling process was underway.

Dubai Media Office Director-General Mona Al Marri told Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya the explosion was a natural accident caused by flammable materials inside one of the containers. He also said the ship’s crew had been evacuated in time.

Jebel Ali Port, operated by the Dubai-based logistics firm DP World, is considered a critical hub both for global commerce and for U.S. military vessels in the region, according to the AP.