• High-rise tower in Dubai catches fire; no injuries reported

    By: KAMRAN JEBREILI, Associated Press

    Updated:
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - A fire broke out Sunday atop a prominent skyscraper in Dubai, sending smoke billowing from its roof and those inside fleeing into the streets before firefighters extinguished the blaze. No injuries were reported.

    An Associated Press journalist saw smoke pour out of the spire that crowns the Almas Tower in Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood as ambulances and fire trucks arrived at the scene.

    The government's Dubai Media Office later described the blaze as a "minor fire."

    "The building was evacuated safely," the agency wrote on Twitter. "No injuries have been reported."

    Authorities offered no cause for the blaze.

    The 68-story Almas Tower, 360-meters (1,180-feet) tall, is home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, which is also an economic free zone. The DMCC had hosted a conference earlier Sunday in partnership with Asia House called "The New Global Trade Order."

    The DMCC later wrote on Twitter that the fire's epicenter was in the tower's mast.

    Dubai, a skyscraper-studded city in the United Arab Emirates, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises.

    Dubai passed new fire safety rules last year requiring that quick-burning side paneling on buildings be replaced with more fire-resistant cladding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.

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