According to local authorities, the blaze in a skyscraper in the city of sharjah in the emirate of the same name was caused by a highly flammable eaves cladding.
It is a material that was also used to build the facade of the london grenfell skyscraper that burned down in 2017, the emirates-based newspaper "the national" reported on wednesday. It referred to the local civil defense and the police in shardzha.
Twelve people were injured in the fire the night before, most of them slightly, according to the ministry of interior of the united arab emirates (UAE). Many residents narrowly escaped disaster. The fire broke out in the nearly 200-meter-high, more than 40-story abbco tower, which was built in the mid-2000s.
At times, the building was ablaze, as could be seen on videos posted on social media. Burning building components fell to the ground and destroyed parked cars. Investigations into the cause of the fire continue, "the national" reported.
Pictures taken by local media showed that the high-rise building in the city near dubai burned out in large parts. The skyscraper, one of the tallest in sharjah, contained numerous apartments. The building was reportedly evacuated after a fire alarm was sounded. The news site gulf news reported that the fire department succeeded after more than two hours in bringing the flames under control.
The material used to clad the skyscraper has been banned in the UAE for the construction of such buildings since 2017, as reported by "the national". According to civil defense and police, it had already started fires in high-rise buildings before.
In 2015, for example, a fire broke out in one of dubai’s tallest skyscrapers and raged through more than 30 floors. Back then, too, numerous people only narrowly escaped a catastrophe. Two years later, the same building burned again.
The devastating fire in the london grenfell tower almost three years ago claimed the lives of 72 people. A newly installed facade cladding made of flammable plastic is said to have turned the 24-story high-rise into a death trap at the time.