Massive fire partly destroys Dubai skyscraper

2012-11-18 07:48:49 GMT2012-11-18 15:48:49(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

DUBAI, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- A fire broke out early Sunday morning at the 34-level high Tamweel Tower in Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers District, destroying hundreds of apartments.

The fire, which broke out at about 2 a.m. (2300 GMT) on top of the building, was still not under control at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT). So far, no human casualties have been reported.

Amateur video footage posted on-line shows the fire engulfed the building at night, with debris falling on the streets.

Reza, a French citizen who rents an apartment in the tower, told Xinhua by phone that the fire was still burning at levels 25 to 30, albeit on a smaller scale at 10 a.m..

"Once we were woken up by the alarm, my wife and I quickly left the apartment with our baby and we rushed down the staircase," he said.

"The fire was so massive and the fire brigades arrived rather late, about 50 minutes after the alarm signal was audible," Reza said, adding that many tenants gathering outside were angry about the slow response by the fire brigades.

Hundreds of tenants who were evacuated stay now on the cost of the building's owner in a hotel in the Jumeirah Lake District, said Reza. Although his apartment was not on the side where the fire blaze happened, Reza said he has little hope that he can continue to live in his apartment.

It remained unclear what has caused the fire.

The Tamweel Tower is located at the entrance point to Jumeirah Lake Towers District in the West of Dubai, which consists of 79 sky-high mixed-used buildings.

Dubai Police has closed all roads towards the Jumeirah Lake Towers district, causing traffic jams during Dubai's morning rush hours.

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