A Dubai court found that mishandling of peroxide caused the 2021 port explosion

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A Dubai court found that a cargo ship’s mishandling of peroxide caused an explosion at the city-state’s busy Jebel Ali port in 2021, an explosion that was felt in the emirate, a state-linked newspaper reported on Thursday.

The Dubai Misdemeanor Court sentenced five crew members aboard the ship to one-month suspended prison sentences and fined them 100,000 dirhams ($27,225) for neglecting cargo and allowing smoke, according to the English-language newspaper language of Abu Dhabi The National .

Five other companies were also fined 100,000 dirhams each for their role in the explosion, the newspaper said. The peroxide arrived at the port on June 27 from China and was kept in direct sunlight for 12 days until the day of the incident, it added.

The newspaper said the Indian ship’s captain maintained his innocence; the four other crew charged were from Pakistan. Prosecutors also said the explosion injured five people, although authorities at the time insisted no one was hurt.

The explosion on July 7, 2021, unleashed a shock wave in the city of Dubai, causing walls and windows to shake in neighborhoods as far as 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the port. Residents shot video from their high-rise buildings as a fiery ball lit up the night sky. The explosion was powerful enough to be seen from space by a satellite.

Jebel Ali Port, one of the busiest in the Middle East, is the busiest port for American warships outside the United States.