Building gutted by fire in Dubai, 16 dead

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Sixteen persons have reportedly died and nine others were injured in a massive fire that ripped through a residential building in Dubai on Saturday, the civil defence said.

Arab News quoted a statement released by the Government of Dubai Media Office early Sunday where a Dubai Civil Defense spokesperson said the cause of the fire in the Al Ras area of Deira was a lack of compliance with building security and safety requirements.

“Relevant authorities are conducting a comprehensive investigation to provide a detailed report on the causes of the accident,” the statement added.

According to the local newspaper, firefighters rushed to the scene and evacuated the building six minutes after being notified of the fire at 12:35 p.m.

The fire, which broke out in an apartment located on the fourth floor, was put out about two hours later at 2:42 p.m. before cooling operations started.

Dubai civil defence, however, stressed the “importance of residential and commercial building owners and residents fully complying with security and safety requirements and guidelines to avoid accidents and protect people’s lives.”

Eyewitnesses reported seeing large plumes of smoke coming from the building.

A worker in a shop at the building said he heard a “loud bang,” according to Khaleej Times newspaper.

A few people tried to rush into the building and rescue the tenants, but the smoke was too dense.

“Fire engines, firemen and police officers were at the spot within minutes. They brought a crane and started helping people. Their swift action helped save many lives,” an eyewitness was quoted by Khaleej Times.

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