Sixteen people were killed and nine were injured in a fire that broke out in a residential area building in Dubai. The fire happened in one of the apartments in a residential area named Al-Ras, which is one of the oldest areas in Dubai.
The fire broke out on the afternoon of Saturday, April 15, on the fourth floor of a five-storied building, a residential building in the city of Dubai.
Lack of compliance with building security & safety measures has caused the fire: Civil Defence of Dubai
He said, as a means to avoid such accidents and to ensure security to the life of the people, it is compulsory that all the buildings and apartments should confirm the safety and security requirements and guidelines. The reports from the local media reveal that among the dead, four were Indians, three Pakistanis, six Sudanese, one West African, one Egyptian, and one Cameroonian.
A spokesperson from the Dubai Civil Defence expressed his deep condolences to the families of the dead. He said that while the firefighters tried to put out the fire, emergency medical care was provided to those who were hurt in the fire.
The Dubai Civil Defence Operations Control Room got information about the fire being broke out at Al Ras by 12.35 p.m. A crew of the fire rescue team reached the spot at 12.41 p.m. and started the rescue and evacuation. The team got the support of the Hamriyah and Port Saeed fire stations. As a result of the combined effort from the team members, the fire was under control by 2.42 p.m. and the team started the cooling operations.
In addressing the public, the Dubai Civil Defence told that the investigation to find out the root cause of the fire is in progress and he reminded the owners of the residential and commercial buildings to strictly follow the safety measures.
According to the preliminary investigations conducted, the fire broke out as a result of the lack of building security and safety regulations. The spokesperson from the Civil Defence told that concerned authorities are conducting a thorough investigation to produce a clear report on the causes that led to the accident.
People who were in the nearby surroundings reported that they saw flames shooting out of the apartment building. Some have posted videos of the incident on social media. The videos show billowing black smoke and flames coming out of a window of an apartment as the first responders and several other fire engines arrive at the scene quickly.
An employee in a nearby shop which is very close to the building said they heard a loud bang sound from nearby. Initially, they were not able to analyze what was happening, it was then they saw fumes of smoke and fire coming out of the window of the building.
The man along with a few others tried to reach out to the building to rescue the people, but the smoke spread everywhere and the fire was blazing blocking their way. They were not able to move forward as they couldn’t see anything because of the heavy smoke. So they decided to step back and waited for the police to arrive.
The police, fire engines, and firemen reached the spot within a few minutes and started the rescue operations. They helped the people to get out of the building with the support of a crane. This timely approach and sudden action saved the lives of many, said the worker from the nearby shop.
The Dubai Police sealed off the entrance to the building where the fire broke out. The building in which the fire happened is an apartment where many migrant workers live by sharing the space, a common practice seen among foreigners in Dubai. The ground floor of the building consists of a smoke shop, a grocery store, and some other businesses.
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Al Ras belongs to the Deira district of Dubai and is close to the gold and spice markets of Dubai. The place is also known for its historic landmarks and busy streets. It is also home to most of the migrant workers, especially from Asia and Africa. The news of the blaze was shocking to the public.
Dubai is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. It is one among the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and with a population of more than 3 million people. The majority of the population of Dubai are foreigners who are in the city in search of a job and a better life.
Dubai has witnessed such fires and accidents in the past, the damage caused by such fires was huge but the number of casualties was very few. In order to reduce the risk of fire which is mostly caused by highly inflammable materials used in building exterior cladding, the authorities announced the implementation of strict regulations on the construction of buildings in 2017. The hot climate of the city has been identified as another factor that contributes to the frequent happening of such incidents.