Fire guts cargo boats in Dubai Creek


Gulf News

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One sailor sustained minor injury and was taken to Rashid Hospital for treatment, according to Brigadier Ahmad Obaid Al Sayegh, Dubai Civil Defence’s Assistant Director General for Fire and Rescue

Dubai: At least two cargo boats were gutted in a fire late on Saturday in Dubai Creek, the police and Civil Defence said.

One sailor sustained minor injury and was taken to Rashid Hospital for treatment, according to Brigadier Ahmad Obaid Al Sayegh, Dubai Civil Defence’s Assistant Director General for Fire and Rescue.

Brig Al Sayegh said the first report about the fire was received at 7:45pm. The dhows were loaded with cars, foodstuff and other commodities, and the main cause of the fire is still under investigation.

However, according to witnesses, at least seven boats boats were gutted, but Civil Defence did not confirm this.

At least three to four explosions, reportedly due to gas cylinder blast, on board the boast, were also heard. The police did not confirm any casualties, though witnesses reported some injuries. At least one person was brought to Rashid Hospital with burns, hospital sources confirmed.

According to a police official on the sport, a blast in one of the cargo boast on Deira Creek led to the fire, which took more than three hours to be brought under control.

Dozens of firefighters and fire engines, including fire-fighting boats and helicopters, battled hard to douse the fire, but strong winds made the job difficult.

Hundreds of people gathered on both sides of the creek to witness the boats burning while the police closed Al Seef Street and the roads leading towards it.

The boats had cars as their cargo and eight blasts, one after another, rocked the boats, an official at the Dubai Civil Defence told Gulf News.

He said the boats got fire on Deira side of the creek but they were deliberately moved to the other side (towards Al Seef side) to prevent the fire from spreading to dozens of other boats marooned in the creek. “It was part of the strategy to contain fire and it really helped,” he said.

Witnesses told Gulf News that the fire started at around 7:40 pm with a huge blast and it quickly moved to the boats marooned next to it.

Police cordoned off the area for traffic as thousands of onlookers gathered around the site, with police struggling to keep the people at bay.

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