Fire rips through UAE residential skyscraper
A video posted online by police showed burning debris falling from a building of more than two dozen storeys
Firefighters extinguished a blaze Tuesday that burned up the side of several towers in the United Arab Emirates city of Ajman, the latest in a series of skyscraper infernos in the Gulf nation.
Civil defense workers sprayed water to cool down any remaining embers at the Ajman One development in Ajman, a city that's home to many commuters who work in the Gulf commercial hub of Dubai, further to the south.
The complex, developed for an estimated $720 million by Aqaar, is home to 12 residential towers. Two sustained severe damage to their exteriors, while others appeared to have light damage.
The cause for the blaze, which began Monday night, wasn't immediately clear. Civil defense officials declined to immediately comment, while telephone numbers for Aqaar rang unanswered Tuesday.
The state-run WAM news agency said Ajman's ruler, Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, visited the complex Tuesday and praised firefighters' efforts to put out the fire. He also ordered authorities to accommodate those affected until they find housing, WAM reported.
A video posted online by police showed burning debris falling from a building of more than two dozen storeys, as police cordoned off roads leading to the site.
It was at least the fourth major high-rise fire in the UAE in three years. Last New Year's Eve, a blaze hit a downtown hotel in Dubai; in February last year, fire broke out at a 79-storey residential building in Dubai, and in November 2012, a 34-storey Dubai residential building was partially gutted.
In some of those cases, experts said the speed at which the fires spread may have been due to the use of flammable cladding on the buildings' exteriors for decoration or insulation.
(with Reuters and the Associated Press)
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