No Fatalities, Dubai Sky-crapper Fire Extinguished
New years eve on Friday witnessed Dubai's most prominent skyscraper, 63-storey Address Downtown Dubai hotel engulfed in fire, with rescue efforts underway.
Firefighters have mostly extinguished a blaze but plumes of white smoke still emanated from the charred Dubai hotel and residential block at daybreak, but civil defense crews had mostly extinguished the flames which erupted around 2130 (1730 GMT).
Surprisingly, though that around 40 floors were engulfed in fire, there are no reports of fatalities or seriously injured victims. Rumour has it that the story has been killed by authorities as it will harm tourism and would not in the States favor.
Dubai police said on Thursday that the building was evacuated and 14 people were lightly injured. A medic at the scene said more than 60 people were treated for mild smoke inhalation and problems caused by crowding as they fled.
The New Year's fireworks display at the nearby Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, is one of Dubai's most celebrated annual rites and attracted thousands of spectators - most of whom were evacuated before the spectacle went on as scheduled.
Live TV broadcasts of the extravaganza appeared to show only a few dozen people in the vast viewing venue near the tower.
Dubai, among the most open and peaceful cities in the war-battered Middle East, prides itself as a tourist and business hub.
But the metropolis, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), may face questions about the safety of its rapidly-constructed cityscape, especially after another high-rise building caught fire earlier this year.
Security officials said the conflagration began on the outside of the structure at the 20th floor, and the deputy chief of police said the investigation into its cause was underway.
Dhahi Khalfan posted a picture of a fireball toward the hotel's base on his official twitter account on Friday.
"A forensic photographer from the Dubai police with the lens of his camera, from here the investigation begins," he said.
Published in Reuters
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