Dubai’s Torch Tower on fire again

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Media captionIt is not clear what caused the fire

A large fire has ripped through a residential 79-storey skyscraper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates – for the second time in two years.

Footage posted on social media showed flames spreading up the Torch Tower and burning debris falling to the streets.

The authorities later said that civil defence workers “successfully evacuated” the building and the blaze was brought under control.

It is not clear what caused the fire in one of the world’s tallest buildings.

The blaze, which rose quickly, was brought under control by the Dubai Civil Defence at about 03:40 local time (23:40 GMT) having broken out hours earlier, the government of Dubai’s media office said.

How are fires fought in high-rise blocks?

Witnesses posted photos and video footage on social media showing flames rapidly climbing up the exterior of the 337m (1,106 ft) tall building.

Images on Friday also showed damaged vehicles in the vicinity of the fire.

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No-one was reported to be injured in the blaze at the Torch skyscraper in Dubai

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Damaged cars near the building where the fire broke out on Friday

One eyewitness, Dina, tweeted that she woke to the sound of emergency services arriving at the scene before discovering “another fire at the Torch”.

Cara Spillane, who said that she lives in the area but is currently away on holiday, wrote that what she saw on social media was “terrifying”.

“Because of the efforts of all teams on the ground, the residents were evacuated from this building to another one and there were no injuries,” Dubai police chief Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri said.

The government media office said “cooling operations were under way”.

The Torch Tower was damaged by an earlier blaze in 2015, which resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of people.

That fire, and other recent blazes in the city, spread quickly because of external cladding, according to fire engineering consultancy Tenable Dubai.

But they did not result in fatalities because the design and construction of the buildings allowed firefighters to battle the blaze and residents to evacuate via smoke-free, fire-free safety zones, the group says.

The Torch Tower, Dubai

  • The 79-storey skyscraper opened in 2011
  • Was the world’s tallest residential building at its opening, but has since been surpassed by six others
  • Is thought to be the 40th tallest building in the world, according to the Skyscraper Centre
  • It has 676 apartments. A two-bedroom flat starts at more than $500,000 (£381,000)
  • Residents have access to an eight-storey garage and a swimming pool overlooking Dubai’s waterfront

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