Workers were seen climbing down access ropes, cranes and scaffolding
A worker was killed during a blaze at an under construction high-rise building in Dubai, Civil Defence Authorities have revealed.
The blaze, which took place at a building site near the junction of Al Khail Road and Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, created panic amongst the construction crews working on the project, eyewitnesses said. Workers were seen climbing down access ropes, cranes and scaffolding, they added.
The worker who died was killed after he jumped from the fifth floor of the building, a report in Gulf News said. The fire broke out at around 3:15PM on Saturday, November 16, a spokesperson from the civil defence said.
Around 300 workers were evacuated from the building by Civil Defence and Dubai Police officials, he added.
An eyewitness driving past the blaze told Gulf News that he saw chaotic scenes at the site as he drove past the building, which was nearing completion.
“The labourers were trapped between the 20th and the 30th floor where fire was raging. Fire at that time was gutting about five floors from the 20th floor upward,” the eyewitness said, describing the building as more than 30 storeys high.
“One labourer decided to climb down the right-hand side of the building using an access rope like a real-life Spiderman. I feared for his life. I just prayed he wouldn’t panic so he wouldn’t lose balance. I also hoped that the rope was strong enough to hold his weight,” the eyewitness told the paper.
He saw other workers desperate to leave the building. Others tried to escape from its four sides.
“Two workers climbed down the left-hand side of the building using the tower crane attached to it. There were those who also tried to climb down using the access rope but hesitated as fire was raging at that side of the building and strong afternoon wind was fanning the flames,” the eyewitness said.
Based on the eyewitness’ accounts, three workers made their way successfully to the ground by climbing down.
Another eye-witness told Machinery’s sister publication Big Project ME that he saw the civil defence authorities using helicopters, spraying fire extinguishing material, to battle the blaze.