At least nine people have been injured and debris has rained down on streets after a massive blaze in a high-rise tower in the United Arab Emirates.
Footage shows the 48-storey Abbco Tower in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s largest cities, engulfed in flames as dozens of firefighters work to put out the fire.
Victor Solanki, who lives in a nearby building, said he saw a ball of flame engulf the tower.
“It was such a gory sight. Carpets on fire were falling from balconies. Curtains too,” he said.
“I am standing down to see if we can help people out.”
The fire broke out on the 10th floor of the 15-year-old high-rise about 9pm on Tuesday, local time (3am AEST). All residents were immediately evacuated, along with those from five nearby buildings.
Sharjah civil defence director Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqb told Gulf News that nine people were treated for minor injuries on site. Seven were taken to hospital.
Jahanzib Jameel, who lived in a two-bedroom apartment on Abbco Tower’s 21st floor, told Gulf News he thought he had lost everything.
“I only picked [up] my wallet as my thoughts were on trying to get my wife and children out of the apartment,” he said.
“I am thankful my family and I are safe. I will have to take account of my losses in the next couple of days when I get a broader picture of the situation,” he said.
The cause of the fire will be investigated.
High-rise blazes are not unknown in the UAE. There were fires at the 86-storey Torch Tower – once Dubai’s tallest residential building – in 2015 and 2017.
A fire also engulfed a 63-storey luxury hotel in Dubai on New Year’s Eve in 2016.