Two killed in Dubai building fire

Several workers are trapped by the flames engulfing building under construction.

    Some workers were seen abseiling down
    the building in the Jumeirah Islands [AFP]

    "Some of the workers were trying to climb down on cables. One guy in red was trying to climb down and then he just fell. It was horrible," said Louise Olson, 25, from Denmark, who watched the scene from her whirlpool bath in a high-rise that faces the burning tower.

     

    "It was kind of like 9/11," said Steven Wullinger, 35, a German who saw the falling man.

     

    Al-Falasi confirmed that one worker died in a fall. Another was killed in the building by a severe head injury apparently suffered while fleeing the smoke, he said. The man was dead by the time rescuers found him, al-Falasi said.

    Earlier, Reuters news agency quoting a hospital official said three bodies were found on the scene and another died before arriving at Rashid Hospital.

     

    Police said between 40 and 50 other people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

     

    Hospital officials said three hospitalised workers were in serious condition.

     
    They said up to 25 workers from India, Pakistan and China were being treated for various degrees of smoke inhalation.
     
    Precarious perch
     
    One man scaling the outside of the building got stuck on a narrow ledge on the 13th floor and was rescued after balancing on his precarious perch for more than an hour.
     
    Rescuers eventually smashed windows to pull him to safety.
     

    Dubai is currently witnessing a
    building boom [AFP]

    Trapped workers waved towels at hovering helicopters or climbed towards the roof on scaffolding.

    Rescuers could be seen carrying injured workers on stretchers and putting them in ambulances.
     
    Witnesses on the street below said the fire broke out around 12:30 local time (07:30 GMT) and burned for at least an hour before fire trucks arrived on the scene.
     
    Attempts by Dubai's emergency services to extinguish the fire and rescue the trapped workers appeared disorganised.
     
    A rescue helicopter was unable to land on the building's roof, and firefighters on the ground took hours to start evacuating workers out from a 10th storey window, even after most of the smoke had dissipated.
     
    It was not immediately clear why those trapped near the roof were unable to make their way to lower floors.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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