A fire broke out at Torch tower in Dubai, one of the world’s tallest residential buildings, in the early hours of this morning.
Videos circulated online show the fire rapidly spread upwards as large quantities of burning debris fell onto the streets below.
The Dubai building was struck by a fire in 2015 and is currently undergoing restorative work.
— Simon R R Bach (@BachSimon) 3 августа 2017 г.
No causalities have been reported so far and many have been evacuated from the building.
One eye witness, Rob Shepherd, wrote on Twitter, “We’re out but people are in tears… cars are exploding all around now… being moved further away”.
Another social media user Cara Spillane tweeted: “Terrifying to see Torch Tower, in the area I live in (Dubai Marina) on fire now.
“Hope everyone gets out OK.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
By 3.40am local time, the Dubai Media Office reported that the Dubai Civil Defence had brought the fire under control and that cooling operations were underway.
The Dubai Police Commander in Chief and Dubai Civil Defence Director General were reportedly on the scene as measures to control the fire at the tower were underway.
The Dubai Media Office also confirmed that Dubai authorities were working on providing shelter at the Princess Tower for those affected by the Torch Tower fire. Some locals also posted on social media offering help and rooms to The Torch’s residents.
Dubai Civil Defence: Torch Tower fire brought largely under control. No casualties have been reported so far pic.twitter.com/ETJN3kPu2a
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) 3 августа 2017 г.
The 2015 fire was brought under control quickly, with no fatalities and seven people treated for smoke inhalation.
But the dramatic fire prompted conversations over long-standing concerns about the sort of cladding used in Dubai towers.
The Torch Tower fire comes less than two months after the devastating fire – thought to be exacerbated by the type of cladding used to insulate the building – at Grenfell Tower in the UK in which more than 80 people lost their lives.
The tower became the tallest residential building in the world in 2011 but was surpassed in 2012 by the nearby 23 Marina and Princess Tower directly across the street. The Torch is 1,105 ft tall, with 79 floors above ground.