Dubai continued with its New Year celebrations as the blaze engulfed a 63-storyed high rise building just opposite the highest tower in the world, the 160-storey Burj Khalifa where everyone had gathered to see the firework display. With no significant casualties except few minor injuries and the block being evacuated on time, the people went ahead with the fire show as planned and enjoyed lighting up the night sky just 100 meters away from the fire-damaged building.
The luxury hotel in the UAE capital went into flames and according to witnesses, several explosions accompanied the orange tentacles. Firefighters had a hard time battling the blaze that engulfed almost half the section of the Address Downtown Dubai hotel and a residential block. Hours later, dark smoky clouds kept on coming out of the building and could be seen from the Burj Khalifa where people were engrossed watching the spectacular firework.
No Major Casualties
The Dubai Media Office reports say that at least 14 people suffered minor injuries while one person had a heart attack due to the smoke, crowd and fast-paced evacuation. The statement further says that one more person suffered moderate injuries, however, luckily enough the list of injured did not include children. More than one million people had reached the roof of Burj Khalifa and the surrounding high-rise buildings to watch the fireworks.
Dubai’s primary revenue comes from tourism and the firework displays during the New Year Eve is a major attraction for the tourists drawing hundreds of people from around the world to the city. The fireworks are put on the Burj Khalif, Burj Al Arab –a sail-shaped construction and over an artificially created palm-shaped island.
When a US consultant in Dubai’s downtown, Paul Mithun came into his balcony intending to view the fireworks he saw that the roof of a building in the vicinity was engulfed with fire. According to him, initially, it looked like an Olympic torch from a distance or as if some fireworks were lit, but as it continued for more than two minutes and increasing to two-thirds of the hotel length rapidly, the people came to know about the gravity of the incidence.