Wednesday 28 September 2016

Fire engulfs residential skyscraper in Dubai's Marina district

Published 20/07/2016 | 13:41

The fire broke out in the Sulafa Tower in Dubai's Marine district (AP)
The fire broke out in the Sulafa Tower in Dubai's Marine district (AP)

A residential skyscraper in Dubai has caught fire in the densely-populated Marina district, sending plumes of smoke into the air and pieces of the building's facade tumbling below.

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The blaze engulfed the upper floors of the Sulafa Tower but quickly spread and affected more than 30 floors and scorched the exterior of the building. It also appears to have spread to the interiors of some of the apartments.

Nora Maki, who lives across the street, said the flames "spread like wildfire" but firefighters "did an amazing job" of getting it under control. Firefighters could be seen on some of the balconies trying to reach out to extinguish the fire.

"It was really scary," Ms Maki said. "You could hear almost explosions... and there was debris flying around."

The fire did not cause any casualties and all residents were evacuated.

It is the latest in a number of skyscraper fires across the United Arab Emirates in recent months. The most prominent was a New Year's Eve inferno at a 63-storey residence near the world's tallest tower the Burj Khalifa. Police blamed that fire at The Address Downtown Dubai building on faulty wiring.

Dubai has vowed to supervise construction crews more strictly and monitor the material they use, as well as implement new fire safety regulations. Though the infernos have not led to any casualties, at least 30,000 buildings across the nation have cladding or panelling similar to the kind that safety and construction experts have blamed for the rapid spread of the fires.

Press Association

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