Fire broke out at a 75-story residential tower in Dubai on Wednesday, Reuters witnesses said, the fifth blaze in a skyscraper in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates in recent years.
Flames leaped out of windows toward the top of the Sulafa Tower in the upscale Marina district, and 10 to 15 stories appeared to have been charred.
Burning debris floated toward the ground, and firefighters approached the site with sirens blaring.
A fire broke out at a residential tower in the nearby Emirate of Ajman in March.
On New Year’s Eve, a blaze hit a landmark downtown hotel in Dubai; in February last year, fire broke out at a 79-story hotel in Dubai; and in November 2012, a 34-story Dubai residential building was partially gutted.
In some of those cases, experts said the flames may have been encouraged to spread by flammable exterior cladding, used for decoration or insulation.
The UAE revised its building safety code in 2013 to require that cladding on all new buildings taller than 50 feet be fire-resistant, but older buildings are exempt.
Twitter users have posted videos of the blaze and of debris falling off the building:
— Rob S (@RobPulseNews) July 20, 2016
Looks like the Dubai Markina Sulafa fire has affected more than 30 floors. Hope everyone has evacuated OK! pic.twitter.com/wk7BeEP540
— Kiera Doherty ☀ كيرا (@kikipigeon) July 20, 2016
The Dubai Media Office reports that there have been no casualties, and ample ambulances appear to be on the scene:
Dubai Civil Defense says no casualties reported at Sulafa Tower. Firefighters still working on containing the fire
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) July 20, 2016