As some million people packed Dubai for the emirate’s notoriously spectacular New Year’s fireworks displays, an inferno lit up a 63-story luxury hotel downtown.
The Address includes a five-star hotel and serviced residences ranging from studios to four-bedroom penthouses. It’s close to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which is the focal point of the annual fireworks display.
Seven restaurants are also located at The Address including one on the top floor; it’s next to the world’s largest shopping center, the Dubai Mall.
Witnesses said the fire broke out at about 9:30 p.m. local time on the lower third of the building and spread quickly. The hotel was evacuated. Officials said 14 people suffered minor injuries, one suffered “moderate” injuries and one suffered a heart attack during the evacuation.
I’m next to The Address in Dubai where a sudden fire enveloped the building. Started from a terrace & raced up. pic.twitter.com/p8OWF6NIW5
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) December 31, 2015
The Dubai government’s media office tweeted that “internal fire extinguishers are preventing spread of fire inside the hotel” though the fire started externally, and said four squads of firefighters were bringing the blaze under control.
Witnesses reported a calm evacuation with Dubai officials seemingly well in control of the situation.
The Dubai media office announced “New Year celebrations in Dubai will continue as scheduled.” Dubai is eight hours ahead of America’s East Coast.
— Barry Whyte (@bwhyte11) December 31, 2015