Port Khalid fire

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At least two people have been injured in a huge fire at an oil storage depot inside Port Khalid in Sharjah. (ITP Images)
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The fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday morning and civil defence spent the entire day fighting the blaze. (ITP Images)
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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)
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The entire port was shut down and surrounding area cordoned off while civil defence and emergency services attempted to tackle the blaze. (ITP Images)
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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)
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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)
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The incident drew large crowds of people who gathered across from the port to watch the drama unfold. (ITP Images)
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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)
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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