Tragedy struck the Al-Ras area of Dubai on Saturday when a fire erupted in a residential building, resulting in the death of 16 people and injuring nine others, according to local media reports. The fire broke out on the fourth floor of the five-storey building, in a neighborhood that houses many migrant workers and traders.
The Dubai Civil Defence Force arrived on the scene at 12:41 local time (9:41 GMT) and has attributed the cause of the fire to “a lack of compliance with building safety and security requirements.” A comprehensive investigation is currently underway to provide a detailed report on the causes of the accident.
Al-Ras, one of the oldest parts of Dubai, is located near the city’s gold and spice markets, which are popular tourist attractions. Dubai is home to approximately 3.3 million people, nearly 90 percent of whom are foreigners. The nationality of the victims has not yet been disclosed.
In recent years, fires have broken out in several skyscrapers in Dubai and other rapidly expanding cities within the UAE. These incidents have raised concerns about building safety, particularly the use of a flammable type of aluminum exterior cladding with a plastic core. In response, authorities announced stricter building regulations in 2017, including the use of fire-resistant cladding to minimize fire risks.
No arrests have been made as part of the ongoing investigation. The Dubai Civil Defence Force urges residential and commercial building owners and residents to fully comply with security and safety requirements and guidelines in order to avoid accidents and protect lives.
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