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Fri 1 Jan 2016 10:32 PM

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Investigation into Dubai hotel blaze gets under way

Smoke still visible from 63-storey tower 24 hours after fire broke out, civil defence teams still onsite

Investigation into Dubai hotel blaze gets under way
A photograph taken from Dahi Khalfans Twitter feed shows the moment the fire is believed to have started.

An investigation into what caused the New Year's Eve fire at the Address Downtown hotel in Dubai is now fully under way.

Just over 24 hours after the blaze broke out, smoke was still visible from the 63-storey tower in the Downtown area of the city, although it was not clear whether this was due to 'cooling operations'. 

An eyewitness told Arabian Business that small pockets of flames were still clearly visible as of 9pm on Friday evening.

A large number of civil defence vehicles are still onsite, and Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard remains closed from the intersection with Financial Centre Road and the Vida Hotel.

Pictures provided by the government-run Dubai Media Office showed scenes of devastation inside the hotel lobby, and on the south-facing facade of the tower.

Dubai Civil Defence is conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire. Few details are available, although it has been confirmed that the blaze started on the 20th floor of the hotel.

However, Dubai's head of general security, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, said that the investigation would focus on an image that purported to show the initial stages of the fire. On Friday, he tweeted the image, which showed a fireball towards the hotel's base.

"A forensic photographer from the Dubai police with the lens of his camera, from here the investigation begins," he said.

Dubai police said on Thursday that the building was evacuated and 14 people were lightly injured. A medic at the scene told Reuters that more than 60 people were treated for mild smoke inhalation and problems caused by crowding as they fled.




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