Dubai’s Torch tower on fire a 2nd time, none hurt

New Straits Times - - World -

DUBAI: Pan­icked res­i­dents fled one of the tallest tow­ers in Dubai early yes­ter­day af­ter a fire ripped through it, the se­cond blaze to hit the sky­scraper in as many years.

Au­thor­i­ties said no ca­su­al­ties were re­ported.

The blaze erupted in the mid­dle to up­per floors of The Torch, once the tallest res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in the world.

The tower was the scene of a 2015 in­ferno that caused ex­ten­sive dam­age to its lux­ury flats and trig­gered an evac­u­a­tion of nearby blocks in the Ma­rina neigh­bour­hood.

Au­thor­i­ties yes­ter­day said the fire had been put out.

There was no im­me­di­ate in­di­ca­tion of what caused the blaze at the 337m struc­ture.

The fire started on the 63rd floor, said Dubai po­lice com­man­der-in-chief Ma­jor-Gen­eral Ab­dul­lah Khal­ifa Al Marri.

“We re­ceived a re­port of a fire. We thank God that there were no ca­su­al­ties, that be­cause of the ef­forts of all teams on the ground... res­i­dents were evac­u­ated from the build­ing to an­other one and there were no in­juries.”

Im­ages pub­lished by Dubai Civil De­fence showed The Torch af­ter the flames were brought un­der con­trol — lights were still on in some lower floors, but the mid­dle to up­per sec­tion ap­peared to be com­pletely burned out.

In Jan­uary, Dubai an­nounced tougher rules to min­imise fire risks af­ter a se­ries of tower blazes in the emi­rate, mostly due to flammable ma­te­rial used in cladding, a cov­er­ing or coat­ing used on the side of the build­ings.

In Novem­ber 2015, fire en­gulfed three res­i­den­tial blocks in cen­tral Dubai and led to ser­vices on a metro line be­ing sus­pended, although no one was hurt.

On New Year’s Eve that year, a fire broke out in a lux­ury ho­tel, in­jur­ing 16 peo­ple hours be­fore a fire­works dis­play nearby. AFP

REUTERS PIC

Flames shoot­ing up the sides of The Torch res­i­den­tial build­ing in Dubai yes­ter­day.

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