Dubai: Residents gave a standing ovation to the heroes at Dubai Civil Defence for risking their lives in Wednesday night’s explosion.
At around midnight, a blast erupted in a container aboard a vessel that was preparing to dock away from Jebel Ali Port. According to Dubai Civil Defence, no fatalities or injuries were reported. There were 14 sailors aboard the ship, who were all safely evacuated.
“The ship was carrying 130 containers. Three containers contained flammable materials. There were no explosives inside it or radioactive materials,” said Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police. The blaze was swiftly put under control within 40 minutes.
An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the explosion, which was heard from across the corners of Dubai, from Jebel Ali and Dubai Marina to Nad Al Sheba and Muhaisnah.
Praise for fire fighters
On Thursday, the Arabic hashtag ‘Thank You, Civil Defence Heroes’ went viral across social networking sites as residents commended the bravery and heroic efforts of the firefighters involved in controlling the blaze.
Ranging from public Emirati figures to Arab residents, netizens expressed their pride in the great efforts and show of bravery among Dubai’s firefighters, who successfully prevented the massive fire from spreading to nearby ships.
Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, wrote: "We thank the Civil Defence and the security services for their swift control over the fire that broke out in Jebel Ali Port. We appreciate the efforts of the port authorities to ensure the safety of the ship’s crew, and we appreciate the efforts of the Media Office to reassure the people. The government’s efficiency in confronting accidents has preserved human life, and also preserved the economy’s success and the well-being of all people living in Dubai.”
Social media users also praised the firefighters as the nation’s first line of defence in securing the safety of residents.
Popular Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi posted a picture and wrote “Dubai is excellent”, while scores shared images with words of praise for the teams of Dubai Civil Defence.
“The family of Zayed has shown success in the wise leadership in serving the country,” wrote a Saudi media user who went by the name @KSA_Gag.
Abdullah Bin Aqeeda Al Muhairi, Secretary-General of the Zakat Fund, said: “Accidents happen anywhere and anytime in the world, and this is a very natural thing. The management of these accidents also differs from one country to another. What we saw was a high level of professionalism in the management of the fire, and within a short period, proved that Dubai always alert and ready.”