JEDDAH: More than two years after it was hit by fire, the Dubai Torch Tower in Dubai was in flames again late Thursday, forcing occupants to evacuate.
Photos and videos shared on social media showed the 79-story residential skyscraper burning and firefighters struggling to douse the flames.
Located at the Dubai Marina, the tower was damaged by fire on February 21, 2015, causing substantial damage.
The fire comes despite tougher new rules undertaken by the modern emirate early this year following a spate of fires hitting its skyscrapers.
Probers have noted that most of the big fires that have hit Dubai high-rises in recent years have spread rapidly, mostly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of the buildings.
Under Dubai’s new fire and safety code, builders are required “to ensure that the flammability of the cladding is as close to zero as possible.”
Builders are required to regularly carry out maintenance on the cladding panels and replace them after a certain date.
One of Dubai’s major blazes occurred on New Year’s Eve 2015 when fire struck the luxury Address Downtown Hotel, injuring 16 people just a few hours before a fireworks display nearby.
The blaze was broadcast live worldwide, but authorities went ahead with the festivities just the same, with residents and tourists gathered nearby to watch a dazzling fireworks display even as smoke billowed out of the tower.