4 Aug 2017

Fire rips through 79-floor Dubai skyscraper

2:03 pm on 4 August 2017

A large fire has ripped through one of the largest residential buildings in the world: a 79-floor skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Footage posted on social media showed flames spreading up the Torch tower in Dubai's Marina district, and burning debris falling down.

The Government of Dubai Media Office said the building had been successfully evacuated, and no injuries had been reported so far.

Firefighting crews from four civil defence stations were sent, and senior police and civil defence staff were on site, the office said.

The office quoted Dubai Civil Defence as saying the emergency had ended and the process of cooling the tower would begin.

They said authorities would provide places for affected residents to stay at another building, the Princess Tower.

Samar Fatallah told CNN there was little wind so the fire did not spread very fast.

"You can hear the building cracking, the pieces falling from the building on the carpark which is next to it.

"Already, two cars exploded. The firefighters, they do what they can, they closed the perimeter around the building."

The Marina Torch was damaged by fire in 2015.

Its flammable cladding was blamed for the rapid spread of the flames - in a similar way to the fatal fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

The Torch tower was the world's largest residential building when it opened in 2011, but has since been surpassed by six others.

It is thought to be the 32nd tallest building in the world, according to the Skyscraper Centre.

It has 676 apartments. A two-bedroom flat there costs more than $NZ672,000.

Residents have access to an eight-storey garage and a swimming pool overlooking the city's waterfront.

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