Dubai authorities on Thursday launched an investigation after a massive fire broke out at one of the world's busiest ports, Jebel Ali Port the other day, following an explosion on a container ship that was reportedly carrying flammable materials, reports AFP.
According to authorities, no casualties have been reported and firefighters rushed to the spot as soon as the accident was reported. The flames were doused within 40 minutes of the incident and 14 crew members were evacuated in time.
"Thank God, everything is safe. But this is a natural accident that happened in one of the containers, which was also carrying some flammable materials. There was no other reason," Mona Al Marri, director of the Dubai Media Office told Al-Arabiya television.
Initial investigation revealed that 3 out of 130 ships on the port carried flammable materials.
"Initial reports indicate that... friction, or heat, may have led to the blast", Dubai police chief Abdullah al-Marri told Al-Arabiya, adding that there were no radioactive substances or explosives present in the containers.
The intensity of the explosion is said to be dangerous enough to shake the windows and doors of the apartments nearby the Jebel Ali Port.
Several residents of apartment towers and villas that line the city's coast reported that they heard a loud band and felt tremors after the fireball shot into the sky, with some filming the spectacle from their balconies.
Residents of apartment towers and villas that line the city's coast reported hearing a loud bang in the night and then felt windows and doors shaking after the fireball shot into the sky, with some filming the spectacle from their balconies.
"I was outside on my balcony. My friend saw something yellow coming (like) the sun. I took the picture and after (there was) a sound," said Clemence Lefaix, who was staying near the blast site and posted a photo of a bright orange light against the night sky in front of apartment buildings.
"I was really scared."
A resident of Dubai's Marina district, close to Jebel Ali port, told AFP that they "saw the windows shaking".
Many residents that AFP approached said that they saw something like this happening for the first time.
As far as the Jebel Ali port is concerned, it is capable of handling aircraft carriers and was the US Navy's busiest port of call outside of the United States in 2017, according to the US Congressional Research Service.
Global logistics giant DP World tweeted that "operations are running seamlessly" across the port, thanking the local authorities for "their swift response in resolving the fire incident".
Dubai is home to more than three million people, mostly foreigners, compared with only 15,000 inhabitants in the 1950s.