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Blaze Engulfs Dubai Residential Skyscraper; No Injuries Reported

  • VOA News

Smoke and fire rise from a high rise building at Marina district in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 4, 2017. A fire broke out after midnight Friday in one of the world's tallest residential towers in Dubai, engulfing part of the skyscraper and sending chunks of debris plummeting below.

Flames engulfed one of the tallest residential towers in Dubai Friday, the second time in two years that residents had to scramble to safety as chunks of debris fell to the street.

The 336-meter-tall Torch Building caught fire in the early hours of Friday.

More than 40 floors of the 86-story Torch Tower were burning on one side of the building, an Associated Press journalist near the scene said. Building residents could be seen on the street outside, with several saying the fire broke out just after 1 a.m.

Dubai’s Civil Defense announced 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 via Twitter. No injuries have been reported.

“We were sleeping and we woke up to the fire alarm and people screaming,” one resident told Reuters. “We ran down the stairs and it took us about 10 minutes to reach from the 50th floor.”

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

In February 2015, another blaze damaged the Torch Tower.

Several skyscrapers in Dubai have caught fire in recent years, leading the country earlier this year to pass tougher fire laws, mainly focused on the replacement of flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of buildings.

A fatal fire in London in June prompted authorities to order testing on the cladding used in British buildings.

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