A towering inferno has ripped through a residential skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates -- the third such incident in just over a year.
Hundreds of people were forced to flee as chunks of burning metal fell to the ground when a blaze broke out in the emirate of Ajman late on Monday.
Images shared on social media showed bright yellow flames spreading up the side of the building but reports in the UAE say there were no casualties, and that everyone was evacuated from the tower in al-Sawan.
The Emirati interior minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, rushed to Ajman to help coordinate the response to the blaze, Ajman police said.
Fire struck in the Ajman One complex, a development of 12 towers with some 3,000 apartments, and officers sealed off a major road near the tower.
Hundreds of evacuated residents and onlookers crowded nearby to watch the building go up in flames, while efforts to extinguish the blaze continued late into the night.
Bismillah, a Pakistani tenant in the complex, told Gulf News her three children rushed down 19 floors to safety. “We were all very distraught, we have lost everything,” she said.
“My flat is completed gutted,” said another resident while wiping away tears. “I have lost everything including my documents and I have no place to stay.”
The blaze comes less than three months after a massive fire raced up the exterior of the 63-story The Address Downtown Dubai, one of Dubai’s most prominent hotels. It is situated next to Dubai’s biggest mall and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper.