Sharjah: One crew member was killed and four others suffered burns after a fire broke out on a vessel transporting a petroleum product at Al Hamriyah port on Saturday morning, Sharjah Civil Defence said.

A massive explosion started the fire and the vessel broke into two.

The operations room received an alert at 5.29am about the fire. Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence, said the Panama-flagged vessel was carrying a consignment of diesel and was docked at Al Hamriyah seaport.

It was transporting diesel from the UAE to a foreign destination.

Col Al Naqbi said the accident took place around 5.29am. The captain and his crew members were present on the vessel at the time of the incident. A total of 16 sailors were evacuated safely.

Firefighters controlled the blaze and stopped it from spreading to adjacent ships and also controlled the oil from spilling over.

Thick, black smoke was still seen billowing from the ship on Saturday afternoon. A Civil Defence team boarded the vessel and found the body of one person and four other sailors with burns.

The injured workers were transferred to Khalifa Hospital in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain hospital and they are in a stable condition now.
The sailors, including the deceased and the injured, are Indians and are aged between 22 and 30.

Col Al Naqbi said a total of 21 workers were on the vessel.

The vessel was handed over to the Sharjah Police who are investigating the incident and a fire expert visited the site to establish the cause of the fire.

Dr Ahmad Abu Sada, director of emergency section at Khalifa Hospital, Ajman, told Gulf News that three Indian sailors were admitted to the hospital. Two of them sustained 40-60 per cent second degree burns but were stable. The third sailor sustained fractures and wounds on his face. The fourth sailor was taken to Umm Al Quwain.

The body of the deceased, identified as S. P. P, 22, was taken to Al Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah.

Rashid Al Shamsi, a local resident, told Gulf News that the explosion affected some houses in the area and the ceiling of his house was partially damaged.