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Fire rages in industrial zone near Dubai port

By Adam Schreck

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 28 2011 7:09 a.m. MDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A major fire engulfed part of an industrial district near Dubai's main seaport Wednesday, but did not appear to pose any threat to shipping operations.

There were no immediate indications of casualties, a business executive said.

Towering flames and thick plumes of smoke poured from the warehouse at the center of the blaze near the Jebel Ali port, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southwest of central Dubai. The building at the center of the fire held acrylic blankets for Wonu International, a bed covering and textile manufacturer, said the company's general manager, Choon Park.

"Everybody came out," he told The Associated Press, saying that no workers in the warehouse were injured in the blaze.

The industrial area is separated from the port by a major highway linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi. There appeared to be no direct threat to the port or the surrounding business offices in the Jebel Ali free zone.

The Jebel Ali port is a major hub for Gulf shipping and is near a new airport complex that Emirati officials hope to develop into a global cargo and transport center in the coming decade.

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