Port Khalid fire

At least two people have been injured in a huge fire at an oil storage depot inside Port Khalid in Sharjah. (ITP Images)
The fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday morning and civil defence spent the entire day fighting the blaze. (ITP Images)
Explosions could be heard coming from the port and the fire sent huge clouds of smoke into the sky, visible for miles around. (ITP Images)
The entire port was shut down and surrounding area cordoned off while civil defence and emergency services attempted to tackle the blaze. (ITP Images)
According to media reports the fire started around 2.00am in a garbage bin at a depot owned by Emirates Refining Co. (ERCO), which manufactures edible oils and fats. (ITP Images)
Losses from the blaze have been estimated to run into the billions of dirhams, with some media putting the figure as high as 8 billion dirhams ($2.18 billion). (ITP Images)
The incident drew large crowds of people who gathered across from the port to watch the drama unfold. (ITP Images)
It also caused major traffic congestion in and around Sharjah due to police diversions and drivers slowing down to look at the smoke billowing into the sky. (ITP Images)
The blaze is the second to hit Port Khalid. The port was shut down for almost an entire day in August 2007 following a devastating fire that started at an oil storage facility. (ITP Images)
Sat 20 Sep 2008 04:25 PM