An explosion inside a container on a ship docked at the Dubai port caused a massive fire on the vessel and shook the gleaming commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates, authorities said on Thursday.
The blast occurred in the container aboard the vessel, preparing to dock away from the Jebel Ali Port's main shipping line at around midnight on Wednesday.
There were no reported deaths or injuries and the fire is under control, authorities said.
There were 14 sailors aboard the ship, who were evacuated safely.
'A fire has been reported to have broken out in a container within a ship anchored in Jebel Ali Port. A Dubai Civil Defence team is working to put out the blaze,' Dubai Media Office said in a tweet on their official account.
Director-General of Dubai Civil Defence Major General Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi said the Jebel Ali Port fire has been brought fully under control and the cooling process is underway.
Teams took 40 minutes to control the blaze.
The blaze sent up giant orange flames on the vessel at the Jebel Ali Port, the ninth-largest port in the world and the biggest in the region.
The blast was heard across parts of Dubai, with residents hearing a loud explosion, according to witnesses. Panicked residents filmed from their high-rises as a fiery ball illuminated the night sky.
Residents from Marina, JVC, and Emirates Hills said that they heard a loud explosion that shook their doors and windows.
The Dubai Media Office posted a video of firefighters putting out the blaze at the port.
Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-In-Chief at Dubai Police went to the fire site and said the fire occurred on a cargo ship at dockside 14, Gulf News reported.
"The ship was carrying 130 containers. Three containers contained flammable materials. There were no explosives inside it or radioactive materials," Lt Gen Al Marri said.
An investigation is ongoing to determine the reason behind the fire.
Jebel Ali Port Authorities said they took all necessary measures to ensure the normal movement of ships in the port.
Operated by the Dubai-based DP World, the port can berth some of the world's largest ships.
The port is not only a critical global cargo hub but a lifeline for Dubai and surrounding emirates.
DP World describes Jebel Ali Port as a 'gateway hub' and a 'vital link in the global trade network' that connects eastern and western markets. The company did not immediately issue any public statement on the blast.
Port Jebel Ali was constructed in the late 1970s to supplement the facilities at Port Rashid.
Dubai is the region's trade, business and tourism hub. The city is also one of the safest cities in the world.