One of the world’s tallest residential buildings, the Torch Tower in Dubai, caught fire just after midnight on Friday, though no injuries were reported. Videos by bystanders showed flames rising upwards through 40 floors of the 86-storey building, which had caught fire in 2015 as well. Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 4 am, AP reported.
Civic authorities in Dubai are now working on finding shelter for the residents, who ran out of the building in dismay as smoke filled their homes. Several blocks around the building have been cordoned off to prevent passersby from getting injured by falling debris.
Officials investigating the cause of the fire deduced that the flames spread rapidly because of the skyscraper’s exterior cladding, which were made of aluminum panels with combustible plastic cores, The New York Times reported.
The United Arab Emirates, with its massive construction projects, has had several problems with fire safety in the past few years. Authorities have said more than 30,000 buildings have outside paneling that is not fire-resistant.