Massive blaze in Jebel Ali factory

DUBAI— Hundreds of workers in some manufacturing units and warehouses in Jebel Ali Free Zone’s South Zone were evacuated after a massive fire followed an explosion at a blanket manufacturing company on Wednesday afternoon.

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Published: Thu 29 Sep 2011, 11:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:00 AM

No casualties were reported at the factory where the fire broke out, though it is believed to have caused damage worth millions of dirhams. The factory belongs to Wonu International FZ CO that makes bedding and cushion accessories. A company administration official, who did not want to be named, told Khaleej Times that nearly 130 workers who were inside the company had escaped unhurt. “We don’t know what happened. The police and Civil Defence are investigating,” he said.

An eyewitness said the explosion was heard shortly after 1pm. “It was lunch break for us and some of us had just opened the lunch boxes. When we heard the explosion and saw the fire, everybody came out,” said Ramdhari Prajapati, a supervisor at Interiors International Industries’ furniture manufacturing unit opposite Wonu’s premises. There were around 200 workers in the wooden furniture factory.

Prajapati said nearly 30 fire engines had rushed to the spot after huge flames started engulfing the neighbouring units as well. Thick plumes of black smoke billowed over the sky for hours as firefighters battled out the flames.

Worried workers in the furniture factory also tried to prevent the huge flames from spreading to their premises by pumping out water. “The flames were spreading to our company’s direction because of the wind. Luckily, nothing happened to our factory. But, the fire spread to three-four units on the other side of the road,” he said.

Hundreds of workers from the other units were also evacuated.

The Dubai Police cordoned off the area and diverted traffic on the surrounding roads till the blaze was brought under control. Comments about the investigation were not immediately available from the authorities.

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