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Huge fire erupts in Dubai hotel ahead of New Year festivities

31 December 2015 22:39


A huge fire has engulfed a hotel in Dubai ahead of New Year celebrations, injuring at least 16 people.

The fire erupted at The Address Hotel in downtown Dubai hours before a massive firework show was planned to start in the nearby the Burj Khalifa tower, the world’s largest building.

“At least 14 people have been slightly injured, along with one medium injury, and a heart attack case registered due to people pushing” amid the smoke, Dubai’s government media office tweeted, adding that no children were among those hurt.

Images on social media showed the 63-story building engulfed in flames. The five-star hotel which is more than 300 meters tall is hosting foreign tourists.

Thousands of people had gathered around Burj Khalifa tower to watch the New Year fireworks.

A civil defense official speaking to Al Arabiya television news channel said there had been no injuries from fire and New Year’s celebrations would proceed.

At least 20 stories of the hotel were covered on fire as burning debris was raining down on the ground.

Officials closed streets leading to the area and traffic came to a near standstill. Doors to the main metro station in Burj Khalifa were also closed.

Fire trucks and ambulances rushed to the scene although there was no immediate report of casualties.

Dubai was planning a major show later in the day with reports suggesting that more than 1.6 tons of fireworks would be used in the display. There was no comment yet whether the fire in the Address Hotel would cancel the firework.

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