x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Firefighters work to ensure Dubai Creek blaze will not reignite

The blaze that destroyed two wooden dhows has had an 'impact on the water and marine environment' as Dubai municipality waits on a full report.

A fire involving two boats broke out in Jedaf and thick plumes of smoke could be seen from the Business Bay Crossing nearby.
A fire involving two boats broke out in Jedaf and thick plumes of smoke could be seen from the Business Bay Crossing nearby.

DUBAI // Firefighters spent today ensuring a blaze that destroyed two wooden dhows and badly damaged a third will not reignite.

Crews have been using foam to cool down what remains of the three vessels, moored at the Al Jadaf dockyard on Dubai Creek.

“As per regulations we are cooling the boats using foam,” said Brig Ahmed Al Sayegh, assistant general manager of Dubai Civil Defence. “After we finish, we will shift the case to Dubai Police.”

The fire started at 9.25am on Sunday as the boats were moored for repairs.

It is believed a generator ignited between 10 and 15 barrels of diesel fuel on board one of the boats.

All three dhows belonged to Obaid bin Juma Suloom, a Dubai shipbuilding and repairs company.

Dubai Municipality said some of the fuel and foam might have leaked into the creek.

“There has been an impact on the water and the marine environment,” said Salem Mesmar, the municipality’s assistant director general for environment, health and safety. “Foam has been used in the area. We have to see what has been the spillage.”

Mr Mesmar’s department is waiting for a full report on the cause of the blaze.

“We believe diesel was an issue,” he said. “The important part is to make sure the fire has been 100 per cent controlled.”

This is the first such incident in Al Jadaf, where traditional wooden dhows and other boats are regularly brought in for maintenance.

“This accident was a bit different but we are always going to find out, discuss and follow up,” Mr Mesmar said. “We will not keep quiet. This is affecting the marine environment.”

pkannan@thenational.ae