Fire rages in industrial zone near Dubai port

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 9:58 AM
Fire rages in industrial zone near Dubai port

A major fire engulfed part of an industrial district near Dubai's main seaport, raging for hours Wednesday afternoon, but it did not appear to pose any threat to shipping operations.

There were no immediate indications of casualties either, according to an executive at the company where the fire broke out.

Towering flames and thick plumes of black smoke poured from the factory at the center of the blaze near the Jebel Ali port, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southwest of central Dubai. The building held acrylic blankets for Wonu International, a bed covering and textile manufacturer, said the company's general manager, Choon Park.

"Everybody came out," he told The Associated Press, saying that none of the company's workers were injured in the blaze. The company employs more than 160 people, he said.

It was not immediately known what caused the fire.

The area where the fire occurred is packed with factories, warehouses and offices, but is separated from the port by a major highway linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi. There appeared to be no direct threat to the port itself.

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The Jebel Ali port is a major hub for Gulf shipping and is near a new airport complex that Emirati officials hope to develop into a global cargo and transport center in the coming years.