Blaze Engulfs Oil Tanker after Collision with Ship off Jebel Ali

DUBAI - Two crew members of an oil tanker were injured after the vessel collided with a container ship off the coast of Jebel Ali Port.

By (Martin Croucher and Amira Agarib)

Published: Thu 12 Feb 2009, 1:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:37 AM

Smoke billows from an oil tanker after it collided with a cargo ship off Dubai on Tuesday.— ReutersThe tanker was on fire for two hours after the two ships hit each other in a shipping lane at 12.23pm on Tuesday.

Cam Lesley, chief pilot at Seawings, a private airline operator, said that he flew up to get a closer look at the damage soon after the impact.

“There was a dense cloud of smoke pouring from the tanker,” he said. “Half of the ship was on fire and the bow of the container ship was on fire.

“It looked really big. I wouldn’t have liked to have been down there myself.”

Fire crews managed to extinguish the blaze around 2.30pm onboard the tanker, which was heading into Jebel Ali Port to deliver petroleum to a UAE-based company.

The damaged oil tanker Kashmir. —ReutersThe two injured sailors were among a 20-man Indian and Filipino crew, said Lieutenant Dhahi Tamim, Commander in Chief of Dubai Police. They were given first aid for their injuries.

The tanker, named the Kashmir, was carrying 22 reservoirs of liquefied gas into Jebel Ali Port when it was struck by a smaller container ship heading out of the port.

Only one of the reservoirs was damaged in the collision.

Sources connected to the rescue effort said the ship was transporting gas owned by ENOC, but a spokesman for the company refused to confirm that to be the case.

According to a Reuters report, the ship was carrying around Dh33 million worth of petroleum.

The 19-man crew of the other ship — a Singaporean feeder vessel named Simaman — managed to put out the flames in the bow section themselves.

Police helicopters joined ships from Emirates Coastguard in the rescue effort, and the damaged ships were cleared by tugboats by mid-afternoon.

Traffic through the shipping lane, five miles out to sea, was resumed by 3pm, said Sarah Lockie, spokeswoman for ports operator DP World. Lockie added that the lane was wide enough to accommodate traffic heading both into and out of the port.

The collision is not believed to have caused a petroleum spill, although pictures taken from the scene show a liquid burning on the surface of the sea.

Mohammad Abdul Rahman Hassan, head of marine environment and sanctuaries at Dubai Municipality, said that spills were handled by a ‘Crisis Committee’ headed up by Dubai Petroleum.

A spokesman for Dubai Petroleum said no team had been dispatched to deal with any potential spill. Lockie said that blooms had been put out to soak up any spillage as a “precautionary measure”.

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