A container ship explosion has sent a shock wave through Dubai and damaged one of the world’s largest ports.
The blaze sent up giant orange flames on a vessel at the crucial Jebel Ali Port, which is the busiest port in the Middle East.
The explosion unleashed a shock wave through the skyscrapers of the city of Dubai, causing walls and windows to shake in neighbourhoods as far as 25 kilometres away.
The blaze was caused by a container holding flammable material, Dubai Media Office (DMO) Director General Mona Al Marri told Al Arabiya television, describing it as a “normal accident”.
After the explosion, emergency services quickly brought the fire under control – in less than an hour.
DMO said there were no casualties and officials told Al Arabiya the crew had been evacuated.
Police in Dubai, a regional business hub and one of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, said the blast might have been caused by “friction or high temperatures” during hot summer weather, Al Arabiya reported.
UAE Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said all logistical operations at Jebel Ali Port had resumed. “Our priority now is to ensure that the accident will not impact the marine environment,” he said in a ministry statement.
The ministry named the ship as Ocean Trader. The Dubai authorities earlier said it had capacity to carry 130 containers.
The extent of damage caused to the port and surrounding cargo was not immediately clear.