Late-Night Explosion Rocks Dubai Port

Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Huge cranes unload containers from a ship at Jebel Ali port in Dubai 14 March 2006. Dubai Ports World, owned by the United Arab Emirates government, announced on 09 March it would sell its newly acquired rights to operate six US port following overwhelming opposition to …
RABIH MOGHRABI/AFP via Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A container ship anchored in Dubai at one of the world’s largest ports caught fire late Wednesday, causing an explosion that sent tremors across the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates, authorities said.

The Twitter post from Dubai’s state-run media office said the fire occurred on a ship at the huge Jebel Ali Port, which sits in the Persian Gulf on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula.

Authorities posted a video of firefighters dousing giant shipping containers. Flames could be seen rising in the background as emergency services hosed down the area.

The media office said that the fire was under control by early Thursday and that there were no immediate reports of casualties. The extent of damage caused to the port and surrounding cargo was not immediately clear.

People in Dubai recording with their phones from their high-rises posted frantic videos on social media showing a fiery ball illuminating the night sky.

Witnesses reported shaking buildings across the city. Residents of neighborhoods as far away as 25 kilometers (15 miles) felt the blast around 11:45 p.m. Associated Press journalists felt the sudden explosion rock the glass windows of their apartments.

The Jebel Ali Port in Dubai is one of the largest in the world and the largest in the Middle East. It serves cargo from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Asia. The port, operated by the Dubai-based DP World, has four sprawling container terminals that can berth some of the world’s largest ships.

DP World, the world’s fourth largest port operator, describes Jebel Ali Port as a “gateway hub” and a “vital link in the global trade network” that connects eastern and western markets.

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