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Rediff.com  » News » Blaze sweeps Dubai's Torch Tower for second time

Blaze sweeps Dubai's Torch Tower for second time

August 04, 2017 08:34 IST

A fire ripped through one of the world’s tallest residential towers in Dubai on Friday, the latest in a series of fires in tall structures in the United Arab Emirates.

IMAGE: Flames could be seen shooting out from the sides of the building and glass and debris rained down from the skyscraper. Photograph: Reuters

Flames shot up the sides of the Torch tower in the second blaze to hit the high-rise since 2015, forcing hundreds of occupants to flee as burning debris showered down the sides of the 1,105 foot (337 metre)-tall, 79-storey structure.

Burning debris could be seen spiralling down to the ground below as firefighters desperately tackled the blaze.

The same skyscraper was devastated by fire in 2015 and the building’s flammable cladding, which was similar to that used in Grenfell Tower in the United Kingdom, was blamed for fuelling the flames.

Horrified Dubai residents and tourists shared photos and videos of the flaming debris falling from the building.

Twitter user Ernesto Che Guevara said: “If you are in there get out! It’s spreading rapidly up the building.”

IMAGE: Firefighters were at the spot to tackle the blaze as burning debris showered down the sides of the 79-storey structure. Photograph: @Mammad_ElShabazz/Twitter

Rob Shepherd tweeted:‏ “Another major fire just broken out at Torch Tower Dubai friends and relatives just escaping now.”

Cara Spillane added: “Terrifying to see Torch Tower, in the area I live in on fire now. Hope everyone gets out OK.”

The Dubai Media Office confirmed the civil defence was tackling the fire and no injuries had yet been reported. 

A spokesman said: “Firefighting squads from four civil defence stations have been deployed to bring the fire under control and ensure safety of residents.

IMAGE: Dubai Emergency Response teams and Dubai police are seen on the street near Dubai's Torch tower residential building in the Marina district, Dubai. Photograph: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

“Dubai Police Commander in Chief & Dubai Civil Defence Director General are on site following measures to control the fire at the Torch Tower. No injuries have been reported so far. Dubai Police will be handling inquiries related to the fire and those affected by it through the emergency number.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known but civil defence officials said they had ‘successfully evacuated’ the building and were investigating. 

The Torch Tower is the fifth tallest residential building in the world and stands at more than 330 metre (1,105 ft). 

It became the tallest residential building in the world in 2011 but lost the record the following year to the neighbouring Princess Tower. 

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