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Sat 12 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Dubai's Palm fire: short circuit blamed

MEP contractor believes spark could have landed on materials in storage area.

Investigations into the cause of a fire that broke out in a building under construction on the Palm Jumeirah's Golden Mile are still underway, although sources close to the project have suggested that it was caused due to sparks from a short circuit that fell on nearby flammable building materials.

The fire started in one of two basements in building nine on the development.

The basement was being used as a storeroom to stock building materials by the MEP contractor on the project, Drake & Scull.

Contrary to various news reports following the event, no worker was seriously injured in the fire and a spokesperson for Nakheel, master developer on the project, said: "The fire began in a basement of a Palm Golden Mile building, which is currently under construction on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah.

"There were no serious injuries. One employee working in the vicinity of the building was taken to the nearby Port Rashid Hospital for smoke inhalation and a fireman was also treated for heat exhaustion at the on-site medical facility."

Mr Jeetu, administration officer for the site office of Drake & Scull, said: "We still don't know what the real cause of the fire was but we think it's due to a short circuit. We haven't been able to assess how much of a loss we've incurred so far. We'll have to wait for the investigations to be over before we start on that."

Nakheel's joint venture partner, IFA Hotels and Resorts, is the real estate developer for the project and the main contractor is Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC).

"The fire was not as serious as it appeared to be," said Bishoy Azmy, deputy general manager, ASGC.

"The building materials, including plastics and other similar flammable products, which caught fire emitted thick black smoke that gave it the appearance of being a serious fire. Only the materials in the basement store caught fire and nothing else."

IFA Hotels and Resorts is the largest single investor on the Palm Jumeirah.

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