Dubai probes cause of massive hotel fire

2016-01-01 14:16
(Sunday Alamba, AP)

(Sunday Alamba, AP)

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Dubai - Smoke was still rising from a 63-storey luxury hotel in Dubai on Friday as authorities worked to determine the cause of the spectacular fire that engulfed the building on New Year's Eve.

The huge blaze at The Address Downtown hotel erupted about 17:30GMT on Thursday, sparking panic but no reports of serious injuries.

Authorities went ahead with a dazzling fireworks display at the nearby Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest skyscraper - despite the inferno, the latest in a series of fires in recent years to hit the buildings that make up Dubai's futuristic city scape.

Officials have said the fire erupted from the outside of the building on its 20th floor but the exact cause was not yet known.

A top Dubai security official, General Dahi Khalfan, posted a picture on Twitter of a fire beneath a ledge of the building, saying the start of the blaze had been captured by a police criminal investigation photographer.

"This is where the search begins," Khalfan wrote of the picture, which appeared to show a lower portion of the building.

Alternative accommodation

Witnesses described scenes of panic after the fire spread, with residents screaming and some fainting as they rushed to evacuate the building.

Authorities said only 16 people had suffered mostly minor injuries.

Firefighters spent the night trying to extinguish the blaze.

Heavy black smoke still billowed from several floors of the hotel early on Friday as firefighters continued to douse the building with water hoses.

Roads leading directly to the hotel were closed but otherwise Dubai's city centre appeared normal, with passers-by stopping to take pictures of the building.

The Dubai government said evacuated guests were being offered alternative accommodation and provided a telephone number to call for assistance.


Read more on:    dubai  |  fires

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