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Several injured as fire breaks out at UAE residential tower

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Firefighters have brought under control a fire that broke out at a residential tower in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday night, Sharjah’s government media office said.

Seven people were treated for minor injuries from the fire in the 48-storey Abbco Tower in Sharjah’s Al Nahda area and taken to hospital for treatment, the media office tweeted.

The fire brigade grappled with extinguishing the flames, which were clearly visible in purported photos and videos on social media. Authorities offered no immediate cause for the blaze.

Local authorities said the Sharjah Civil Defence (SCD) teams were quick to avoid the situation from escalating, local media reported.

The SCD said the fire started around 9.00pm local time (17:00 GMT), according to Gulf News newspaper.

Khaleej Times said at least five buildings near the engulfed residential tower were evacuated while several cars in the area were damaged by the falling debris.

The UAE, including the skyscraper-studded emirate of Dubai, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises in recent years.

The reason for the blazes, building and safety experts have said, is the material used for the buildings’ sidings, called aluminium composite panel cladding.

While some types of cladding can be made with fire-resistant material, experts say those that have caught fire in the UAE and elsewhere were not designed to meet stricter safety standards and often were put onto buildings without any breaks to slow or halt a possible blaze.

Source: Al Jazeera


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