Deadly incident at warehouse on same weekend as huge Torch tower blaze in Dubai Marina
At least ten workers were killed in a fire at an illegal workers’ residence in Abu Dhabi early on Friday, in the first of two huge blazes to hit the UAE over the weekend.
The Abu Dhabi fire took place in a warehouse and illegal workers’ residence in the Musaffah district. Ten foreign workers were killed and further eight living in an apartment above the store injured, local newspaper, Gulf News reported.
The fire gutted the two-storey building, which contained seven shops on the ground floor, but was also used illegally as workers’ accommodation upstairs, the paper said, citing police sources.
“The 10 individuals who died were residing in the upper floor that was actually designed to be used as a warehouse, not as a place of residence,” an anonymous spokesperson from the Interior Ministry was quoted as saying.
Names of the deceased have not been issued by UAE authorities. Two of the deceased were Pakistani but the nationalities of the others have not been released as police continue to investigate the cause of the fire.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, a massive fire blazed at the Torch Tower in Dubai. One of the tallest residential towers in the world, the fire is reported to have started at approximately 2AM on the 50th floor of the building, quickly spreading between floors 50 to 70.
Strong winds and blowing sand were said to have exacerbated the situation, making it difficult for Dubai Civil Defence to extinguish the flames. Investigations continue to ascertain what caused the fire in the 79-storey tower, which saw thousands evacuated, but no casualties.