Middle East

Ajman fire: Huge blaze hits UAE residential towers

Media captionThe fire engulfed a high-rise tower in the city of Ajman, in the United Arab Emirates

A large fire has hit at least two residential towers in the United Arab Emirates, in the third such incident in a little more than a year.

The fire struck one tower in Ajman emirate, north of Dubai, before spreading to an adjacent block.

Residents were evacuated, but several have reportedly been treated for breathing problems and minor injuries.

On New Year's Eve, a large fire engulfed the luxury 63-storey Address Hotel in central Dubai.

The latest fire began late on Monday in the Ajman One complex, a development of 12 towers with some 3,000 apartments.

Videos posted by Ajman Police on Twitter showed flames engulfing most of one side of the tower, reaching several storeys high.

An earlier video showed a large amount of burning debris falling to the ground.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Government officials were on scene soon after the fire began
Image copyright AP
Image caption Most of the development's 12 towers were not affected

On Tuesday morning, Ajman civil defence said the fire had been extinguished and that teams were waiting for the building to cool down.

The 2.7bn dirham (£515m; $735m) project had been due to open in 2009, but was completed years later.

Media captionFootage showed flames engulfing the Address Hotel in January

In the New Year's Eve hotel blaze, which burned for more than 20 hours, police said 16 people were injured. Planned fireworks at the nearby Burj Khalifa went ahead despite the fire breaking out shortly before.

Police said cladding used on the outside of the building did not meet safety standards.

The blaze was caused by a short circuit in a spotlight, investigators said.

In February 2015, a large fire badly damaged the Torch skyscraper in Dubai, one of the tallest residential towers in the world.

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