Source : Reuters/Khaleej Times
Fire at Jebel Ali port’s chemical depot triggers blasts
DUBAI - AUG 27: Explosions ripped through a chemical storage depot at Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates on Monday, officials said. There were no casualties and the fire had not disrupted shipping because it broke out near the entrance to Jebel Ali, the busiest container port in the Middle East.
“There were explosions, sending debris up to 300 metres in the air,” said Rashid Al Matrooshi, head of administration at the Dubai Civil Defence Department.
The depot stored about 25,000 barrels of combustible material and bags of chemical powder, said Matrooshi.
Firefighters were battling the blaze, which broke out at 4 a.m (0000 GMT).
Jebel Ali port is situated in Dubai, a member of the UAE federation, which is the world’s sixth-largest oil exporter. Parts of Dubai were enveloped in black smoke from the fire.
The port has the UAE’s second biggest oil refinery. “There has been no effect on the refinery operations,” said a spokesman for Emirates National Oil Company, which runs the 120,000 barrels-per-day facility.
Lieutenant John Gay, of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, told Reuters from Bahrain: “According to our schedule, there are no US aircraft carriers (in Jebel Ali).”
Sharjah, another UAE emirate, closed its main cargo port for seven hours last week after a fire at a lubricants warehouse.