17 Apr Dubai fire: 16 dead
A fire in Dubai’s Deira neighbourhood has left 16 people dead, and nine others injured, after a fire broke out in an apartment building.
The blaze started on Saturday in the Al Murar area, in a five-storey apartment block which is thought to have been shared by multiple occupants. The area is commonly used by labourers for cheap and compact accommodation. However, the spaces are often subdivided using makeshift barriers made from materials such as shower curtains, plywood or drywall. These present a significant fire risk.
The apartment building is also home to a grocery shop, a smoke store as well as other businesses on the ground floor.
A witness in the area said there was an explosion just after noon on Saturday, which was swiftly followed by reports of thick black smoke.
With the fire breaking out during Ramadan, neighbours believe that the building’s occupants were sleeping at the time.
According to the Dubai Civil Defence, the fire started on the fourth floor of the building, while char marks and blown glass windows were seen up on the fifth floor the day after the fire struck.
A statement from Dubai Civil Defence, said: “Preliminary investigations showed that lack of compliance with building security and safety requirements caused the fire… Relevant authorities are conducting a comprehensive investigation to provide a detailed report on the cause of the accident.”