A Dubai court has found that the explosion at Jebel Ali Port in 2021 was caused by neglected safety procedures, a state-linked newspaper reported.
On 27 June 2021, three containers carrying 640 barrels of organic peroxide type C arrived in Jebel Ali from China and were kept in direct sunlight for 12 days.
As reported by the state-linked newspaper The National, the Dubai Misdemeanour Court has found that the fire – which unleashed the explosion at the port – was a direct result of negligence by the cargo shipping company, as decomposed materials left under the sun led to a dangerous exothermic reaction.
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Local prosecutors initially brought charges against the vessel’s captain and four crewmembers over the blast.
The court has now issued a suspended jail sentence and a 100,000 dirhams ($27,225) fine to five crewmembers of the container feeder Ocean Trader.
Five other companies have also been fined 100,000 dirhams each.
“The blast happened in one of the containers, followed by a second blast in a second container,” said one investigator.
“The container’s door was strictly locked, which caused the increase in temperature inside. The blast was caused due by poor storage procedures.”
The case will now be heard in civil court.
The emergency services in Dubai extinguished the fire within 40 minutes when the incident occurred.
The Dubai Media Office said the blast injured five people, though authorities at the time insisted no one was hurt and port operations were not interrupted.
Damages have been estimated at about 24.7 million dirhams ($6.7 million).