Dhow catches fire with crew on board on Dubai Creek
DUBAI // A dhow which had just set sail for Iran lost most of its cargo in Dubai Creek after it caught fire.
There were no injuries and no other vessels were affected by the blaze.
The fire began near the Deira Old Souq Abra station at about 1.30pm.
The ship was leaving Dubai loaded with clothing, shoes, workman's boots and gloves, food items, mobile phone covers, and a large load of lightbulbs.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation by the Civil Defence, but Port authority officers believe it was caused by eroded electrical wires on the ship.
Mohammed Ali, 40, an abra driver, said the blazing vessel got very close to his boat.
"I was worried it would crash into me," said the Bangladeshi national.
"I saw the dhow moving away from the other boats at the wharf - the fire had already started and the crew were still on board," said Mr Ali.
"They managed to get the dhow to the middle of the Creek before the crew boarded a nearby abra and got safely away."
By 3pm Dubai Municipality's waste management department were on the scene and had isolated the debris and begun the clean-up process.
It is not yet clear if the owner of the boat will face fines for environmental damage.
It was the second dhow incident on Dubai Creek this year. In March, two dhows were destroyed by fire and third slightly damaged after the generator of dhow carrying 15 barrels of diesel caught fire near Al Jadaf dockyard.
It took 40 firefighters more than an hour to extinguish that blaze.
Last year, the remains of a boat that caught fire in February while moored in Deira caught fire for a second time in April. Cargo worth Dh200,000 on the nearby dock was also destroyed.
Updated: May 21, 2013 04:00 AM