Launch on fire near Sharjah's Port Khalid

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A cargo boat loaded with foodstuffs, fuel and other products caught fire near Port Khalid in Sharjah on Tuesday morning, just as it was about to sail for Iran.

The fire spread very fast because there were some barrels filled with fuel in the boat. Panicked employees of the cargo boat fled the scene.

Sharjah Civil Defence worked for a few hours to control the fire and prevent the blaze from spreading to other cargo boats berthed close to the burning vessel. The burning boat was guided to an isolated location in the sea.

Eye witnesses said the boat and its cargo were almost fully burnt, though some of the goods were thrown into the water.

“On hearing the fire alarm, workers of the launch fled for their lives. As it was morning, many workers were coming to the port and other work places using the nearby ‘abra’ (ferry service).

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. According to people working in cargo boats, careless disposal of burnt cigarette butts have caused boat fires in the past.

Since the ‘abra’ service was stopped for some time, the morning flow of people to Sharjah Court and other offices nearby was also halted during the firefighting.

The Sharjah Corniche’s skyline was filled with smoke and onlookers could see goods from the burning boats explode and fall in the sea.

Some employees of the boat jumped into the water and escaped unhurt while some others who sustained minor injuries were treated by paramedical staff.

Many firefighting boats of the Civil Defence, Coast Guard and Sharjah Police were used to contain the fire.

Forensic experts have visited the site of the fire to collect information.

 

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