Flames engulf 86-story skyscraper
A fire broke out after midnight in one of the world’s tallest residential towers in Dubai, engulfing part of the skyscraper and sending chunks of debris plummeting below.
More than 40 floors of the 86story Torch Tower were burning on one side of the building. Some residents of the building were on the street crying. Several said the fire broke out just after 1 a.m. Friday local time.
Dubai’s Civil Defense announced at about 3:30 a.m. that firefighters had brought the blaze under control and that no injuries had been reported.
“Cooling operations are underway,” Dubai’s official media office said.
It was the second time in 2 ½ years that the more than 1,100foot-tall tower has been ravaged by fire. The tower, in the popular waterfront Marina district, caught fire in February 2015, but there were no major casualties reported in that blaze.
Dubai police cordoned off several blocks around the building, keeping people away from the fire’s falling debris.
Several skyscrapers in the United Arab Emirates have caught fire in recent years, including a towering inferno that engulfed a 63-story luxury hotel in Dubai on New Year’s Eve in 2016. In that blaze, as in others in Dubai in recent years, residents escaped without major injury.
Earlier this year, Dubai passed new fire safety rules requiring buildings with quickburning side paneling to replace it with more fire-resistant siding. Authorities previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.
Fire breaks out at the 1,100-foot-tall Torch Tower on Friday in Dubai. At the fire’s peak, more than 40 floors of the 86-story skyscraper were burning on one side of the building.