There were no reported deaths or injuries and the fire was brought under control, authorities said. The Comoros Islands-owned ship was docked at the port when the blast occurred in a container holding cleaning products, according to Dubai’s Civil Defense chief Rashed Al Matroush.
The Dubai Media Office posted a video of firefighters putting out the blaze at the port amid smoldering wreckage as plumes of smoke billowed through the air.
Several CNN personnel in Dubai said they heard and felt the explosion, which caused buildings to shake, as far away as 15 kilometers away from the port. Social media video showed a large ball of fire burst from the port area lighting up the night sky.
Jebel Ali is the ninth largest port in the world and the biggest in the region. Port authorities said they were “taking all necessary measures to ensure the normal movement of ships in the port continues without any disruption.”
Jebel Ali is a busy port of call for US warships. The USNS Wally Schirra was the only US Navy ship in the port at the time of the of the explosion. There were no reports of injuries on the ship.
Dubai is the Middle East’s largest commercial hub and the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, which has been island of security despite decades of turmoil in the region.
An explosion inside a container on a ship docked at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port early Thursday caused a large fire, authorities said.