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Dubai skyscraper fire: Torch Tower residents wake to screams as flames engulf 79-storey building

10:45, Friday, 04 August, 2017
Dubai skyscraper fire: Torch Tower residents wake to screams as flames engulf 79-storey building

A fire ripped through one of the world's tallest residential towers in Dubai on Thursday night, sending panicked residents fleeing from the building.

Debris could be seen spiralling to the ground across the famous Marina district of the city as the fire consumed multiple floors of the Torch Tower after midnight.

Authorities quickly evacuated the residents and no injuries were reported."We were sleeping and we woke up to the fire alarm and people screaming. We ran down the stairs and it took us about 10 minutes to reach from the 50th floor.

"The fire was very strong at that time, about 1 a.m. Then it started calming down over the next two hours. It started on the 67th floor, that's what we were told."Dubai Civil Defence said the fire had been brought under control and cooling operations were underway.

The incident may revive questions about the safety of materials used on the exteriors of tall buildings across the wealthy Gulf region and beyond.

The 1,100ft, 79-storey skyscraper, which is known to be popular with expatriate residents of the UAE city, was devastated by a fire in February 2015. There were no deaths in that fire.

The external cladding on the building was blamed for the rapid spread of the 2015 fire, leading to the decision to fully renovate the exterior cladding - works which began last summer and were believed to be ongoing.

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