High-rise build­ing catches fire in Emi­rati city

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A fire broke out Thurs­day on a high-rise tower in the Emi­rati city of Shar­jah, send­ing thick smoke bil­low­ing over the city and snarling traf­fic as com­muters headed home at the end of the lo­cal work week.

The blaze was the latest in a string of dra­matic fires that have raced up the fa­cades of sky­scrapers in the United Arab Emi­rates in re­cent years, pos­ing a chal­lenge for fire­fight­ers and rais­ing con­cerns about fire safety in the rapidly de­vel­op­ing Gulf na­tion.

There were no im­me­di­ate re­ports of ca­su­al­ties from Thurs­day’s fire. The Shar­jah civil de­fense di­rec­torate, whose fire crews were bat­tling the blaze, had no im­me­di­ate com­ment.

The densely pop­u­lated city of Shar­jah sits im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to Dubai, the boom­ing com­mer­cial hub of the re­gion. It is home to hun­dreds of thou­sands of ex­pa­tri­ate fam­i­lies and mi­grant work­ers, many of whom com­mute daily south into Dubai.

Photos posted on so­cial media showed thick smoke bil­low­ing from the fire as it licked up sev­eral sto­ries of the tower’s fa­cade. It did not ap­pear that the fire spread deep in­side the build­ing.

Fires have af­fected sev­eral sky- scrap­ers in the Emi­rates, in­clud­ing a Fe­bru­ary blaze that broke out at Dubai’s 86-story Torch tower, one of the world’s tallest residential tow­ers. There were no ma­jor ca­su­al­ties in that fire.

AP

A he­li­copter hovers over a sky­scraper which caught fire in Shar­jah, United Arab Emi­rates, Thurs­day, Oct. 1.

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