New York - A huge fire has erupted at a downtown Dubai skyscraper near a New Year’s Eve fireworks display on Thursday evening.
New York – A huge fire has erupted at a downtown Dubai skyscraper near a New Year’s Eve fireworks display on Thursday evening.
A Dubai hotel and residential skyscraper has been engulfed with flames near 10:00 p.m. local time, ahead of the official New Year’s celebration.
The fire reportedly erupted hours before a fireworks display was scheduled to begin close to the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the world’s tallest building.
“Fire has been reported in the Address Downtown hotel. Authorities are currently on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely,” the Dubai government media office posted on Twitter.
The Khaleej Times news posted a short video by Rahul Gajjar, an eyewitness at the scene, to their Twitter account, in which the flames are seen nearly extending to the height of the building.
The cause of the fire has not been determined yet, but it is reported to have covered at least 20 stories of the Address Downtown Hotel.
Debris from the fire has been found on the streets. Firetrucks are at the scene trying to contain the flames. No reports of human injuries have been released as of the time of writing.
Social media users in Dubai have been posting videos of the dramatic incident, which is largely seen from every surrounding building in the city.
“The building has been fully evacuated but we have no more information about what has happened,” a spokeswoman for the Address Group of hotels near the Dubai mall complex said, according to the Telegraph.
“It’s a pretty big fire. It started about 30 minutes ago and is still going on. We don’t know the reason it happened yet,” she added.
As of 10:37 p.m. local time, a Dubai official informed that New Year’s Eve festivities will continue as planned, reporting no casualties.
“There are no injuries, thank God … of course, it will not affect the celebration,” Major General Rashed al-Matrushi, general director of the Dubai Civil Defence, told Al Arabiya’s live broadcast.
However, eyewitnesses are starting to panic as the flames take over the skyscraper.
“I saw the flames just as it started and now it is out of hand. I can’t see anything because of the smoke,” Ahmad Al Bader told The National newspaper.
“They evacuated the people in the Address. My uncle and aunt were having dinner there and they were quickly rushed out, it’s crazy,” he said, adding that the building “looks like it’s completely gone.”