Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, visiting the accident site at Dubai Drydocks. - Gulf News Archives

Rescue workers were still counting the death and injury toll in a tragic accident in which a huge watertight gate at Dubai Drydocks split open, killing at least 29 workmen and injuring many more as seawater flooded in on them. The tragedy happened when two panels of Dock Gate No 2 ruptured, and the sea rushed into the dock where teams of men were working on ships. Police and army personnel, divers and dock security workers, backed up by helicopters, battled to save the trapped workers as the water swirled into the dock for an hour. Such was the force of the torrent that it damaged five ships, some of them weighing tens of thousands of tonnes. The workers were mainly Indian, Filipino and Bangladeshi, and last night their embassies were desperately trying to get details on the deaths and injuries. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, visited the scene.

Other important events:

1703 Russian Czar Peter the Great founds the city of St Petersburg.

1713 Spain agrees in Utrecht, Netherlands, to cede Gibraltar and Menorca to Britain.

1794 US president George Washington and Congress authorise the creation of the US Navy.

1865 Independent British colony of Kaffraria is incorporated with Cape Colony in South Africa.

1899 Italian Guglielmo Marconi sends the first radio signals across the English Channel.

1941 Yugoslavia’s Prince Paul is deposed in a coup.

1958 Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet premier.

1960 Iraqi Premier General Kassem establishes the Palestinian Army.

1964 Earthquake in Alaska kills 114 people.

1968 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is killed as training plane crashes.

1970 Severe earthquake strikes western Turkey, killing at least 1,087.

1976 South Africa withdraws its military forces from Angola.

1977 A KLM Boeing 747 crashes into a Pan Am 747 on the Canary Island of Tenerife, killing 583 people.

1989 Saudi Arabia signs a non-aggression pact with Iraq.

1991 Black commandos storm a Singapore Airlines jet and shoot dead four Pakistani hijackers who had threatened to burn their hostages to death.

1993 Jiang Zemin becomes president of China.

1994 The first test flight of the Eurofighter Typhoon takes place in Germany

1995 South African President Nelson Mandela fires his estranged wife, Winnie, from the government for insubordination.

1996 Cigar wins the inaugural Dubai World Cup horse race at Nad Al Sheba.

2000 Vladimir Putin is elected as president of Russia.

2001 An empty train riding on the wrong side of the tracks crashes into a crowded commuter train in central Belgium, killing eight.

2007 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launches a $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) project to build Japan’s first passenger jet.

2008 The Terminal 5 building at Heathrow Airport in west London is opened.

2010 India successfully test-fires two nuclear-capable medium-range ballistic missiles, Prithvi-II and Dhanush.

2011 Pakistan releases Indian prisoner Gopal Das, after 27 years in jail.

2014 The Philippines seal a historic peace deal with Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, ending 45 years of conflict.

2016 A bomb explodes in the parking lot of a crowded park in Lahore, Pakistan, killing at least 65 people.