Flames en­gulf 86-story sky­scraper

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Malak Harb and Aya Ba­trawy

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.

Karim Sahib, AFP

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.