Dubai tower block fire draws Grenfell comparison

Trevor Jackson
August 5, 2017

A large blaze has ripped through one of the largest residential buildings in the world, the Torch Tower in Dubai.

One video showed flaming debris falling from the skyscraper.

Another resident, whose gave his name as Mohammed and lives on the 12th floor, said the top part of the tower caught fire first and then lower levels followed as debris fell.

Located in the glamorous Dubai Marina area, the Torch is one of the ritziest apartment buildings in the region.

The Dubai government said firefighting squads from four Civil Defence stations have been deployed and the fire has been brought under control. Panels can consist of plastic or polyurethane fillings sandwiched between aluminium sheets, similar to that used on Grenfell Tower.

The fire was bought under control by 4am local time.

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Hundreds of people, many of whom were evacuated residents, were in the street while crews worked on the scene. They said we may be able to get back into the building at 7.30pm tonight, but that looks doubtful. The building was last damaged in February 2015.

Building and safety experts have cited a popular type of cladding covering the buildings that can be highly flammable. Officials said they were now working on providing shelter for those affected. The firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours.

It became the tallest residential building in the world in 2011 but lost the record the following year to the neighbouring Princess Tower.

The externally clad tower is now one of the tallest residential skyscraper in the world.

Cladding on the building was still being fixed after another fire broke out in 2015, according to the resident. After these incidents, the Dubai Civil Defense in 2016 announced restrictions on exterior paneling on new constructions.

Flammable claddings are said to have contributed to at least three other skyscraper fires in Dubai.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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