Oil tanker on fire off Dubai port after collision

DUBAI - A container ship collided with a tanker Tuesday and set it on fire in a shipping channel off the coast of Dubai, the city’s port operator said.

By (AP)

Published: Tue 10 Feb 2009, 7:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:54 AM

No fatalities were reported. The tanker’s crew was evacuated safely after two sailors were pulled from the water with light injuries, DP World spokeswoman Sarah Lockie said.

Details about damage to the tanker were not immediately available. Lockie said the ship was carrying a liquid used to make plastic.

Mohammed Farouk, an officer in the Dubai police department’s emergency response team, said the fire broke out at 12:20 p.m.

Dubai police helicopters and boats were sent to help with the rescue effort but have now returned to base, he said. Rescuers from the Emirates coast guard and an emergency response division of DP World’s parent company were also dispatched, Lockie said.

Officials said the fire has been extinguished.

Tug boats were able to pull the container ship and its crew to safety shortly after the accident occurred. By mid-afternoon, the damaged tanker had been cleared from the accident site, Lockie said.

The accident happened when the inbound tanker collided with a medium-sized container “feeder vessel” heading out to sea in a shipping channel five miles from Jebel Ali Port, she said.

Stephen Olley, assistant manager of the casualty section of Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence Unit in the U.K., said the tanker was named Kashmir and was carrying about 30,000 tons of oil condensate. The Maltese-flagged vessel was heading to the UAE from Iran.

“We do understand there’s been quite a serious collision and a fire,” he said.

Olley said he believed the container ship is the Sima Saman, which was flying a Singapore flag. He did not know its destination or origin.

Container ships typically carry a variety of cargo packed into 20-foot or 40-foot containers.

Jebel Ali Port is on the southwestern end of the city, in the direction of Abu Dhabi. It is the bigger of two major ports in Dubai.

DP World is the world’s fourth-biggest port operator. It is 80 percent owned by the government of Dubai.

Lockie said the incident is “all over now” and that traffic is moving in and out of the channel.

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