By Andy Sambidge
Unsafe illegally-built residential shack to blame for blaze that left 67 people injured.
Police in Abu Dhabi have called on the public to avoid living in unsafe residential facilities or face legal action, following this week's blaze on the roof of a high-rise tower.
The fire, that had erupted on the roof of the densely populated 16-storey building, was started in a wooden shack, built illegally on the roof.
At least 67 people, including 14 firefighters, were injured in Tuesday's blaze at the building on Airport Road.
Director of Emergency and Public Safety Department at the Abu Dhabi Police, Col. Othman Al Tamami told news agency WAM that he blamed the greed of some investors who build makeshift extensions to existing buildings and offer them for rent.
Al Tamami urged the public not to live in such places which do not have adequate safety measures.
He said there had been several cases of fire and other disasters caused by unsafe residential facilities.
He stressed the need for intensifying inspection on residential places to make sure that they abide by safety standards confirming to the local laws.
The authorities themselves know the reason, why People are living in these places. It is none but scarcity of residential flats. Before we could say that it was due to the price difference. But now, it is clearly because of scarcity only... To these illegaly built cardboard places alo we have to pay 100k plus for a 1 bedroom , Hall in Abudhabi. While these scarcity is still crucial authorities are giving permissions to demolish old buildings, without building new ones for accomodating the families. Now only the solution is that send the family home, or shift fully to the homeland .. Earlier the Better...
The government should really invest in low-cost decent housing for people with moderate to low income. I dont see any solution for this chronic residential problem for the next 5 years.
By advising residents not to live in such places terrace make-shift flats it would be good if the relevant authorities conduct a thorough check in all the buildings in AUH and it would not be surprising to note how many families are occupying these make-shift extensions. Who are the greedy investors, none other than locals. The buck should stop here.