Fire breaks out at Dubai hotel on New Year’s Eve

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File photo of the hotel, which is pictured as the skyscraper on the left; this view is from the Burj Khalifa. Image: Danny15.

Dubai: A fire broke out at a high-rise hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) last night, apparently involving a large portion of the hotel. A crowd had gathered around The Address Hotel for the New Year’s celebration, but they were evacuated due to the fire.

The cause of the fire was unclear, and there were conflicting reports on the number of people injured.

A thick column of smoke rose up from the hotel, and two large explosions occurred during the fire. The smoke obscured the nearby Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest building in the world, according to Nadia Huraimi, a BBC correspondent in Dubai at the time, even though the tower was brightly illuminated.

File photo of the hotel, which is pictured as the skyscraper on the left; this view is from the Burj Khalifa. Image: Danny15.
File photo of the hotel, which is pictured as the skyscraper on the left; this view is from the Burj Khalifa. Image: Danny15.

Witness reports said the fire caused people to run away in panic. Firetrucks were dispatched to the hotel and, according to what officials said at 11 pm, the fire had mostly been controlled. Despite this, the fire continued past midnight. Officials said guests at The Address would be given accommodation at other hotels.

Reports on the number of people injured were conflicting. While officials said the fire injured 16 people, lightly for the most part, an anonymous medic told Reuters the fire injured at least 60.

Despite the fire, a fireworks show for New Year’s continued as planned at the Burj Khalifa even as the hotel burned.

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence