Address Hotel fire caused by electrical short circuit
Emergency personnel evacuated the hotel and only minor injuries were reported from the fire. (File photo)
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The fire that engulfed The Address Downtown hotel, ahead of Dubai's iconic New Year fireworks, was caused by an electrical short-circuit, the Dubai Police have revealed. The fault was detected between the 14th and 15th floors of the hotel, a top officer said on Wednesday.
Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, said the cause was determined by experts on the basis of forensic investigation and witness testimonies.
Experts identified the duct between flat numbers 1401 and 1504 as the area where the fire actually broke out. This is a one-meter wide area.
Samples collected from the site did not reveal traces of inflammable substances like petrol. At a press conference, the police showed photographs of exposed unconnected electric wires in the duct between the two apartments.
Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed, head of forensic and mechanical engineering department at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology of Dubai Police, said the fire broke out at 9.25pm.
He said experts from the department visited the 63-storey building on the day after the fire broke out to determine the exact cause.
Ahmed said the hotel facade was covered with aluminium decoration boards that consisted of many exterior layers and an interior thermal layer. Floodlights directed at the building were powered by electric cables that ran through ducts. There were other electric cables passing through the building's wall that extended to some balconies on which lights were fixed.
On New Year's Eve, as flames shot upwards from one side of the hotel, emergency personnel evacuated the building quickly. Only minor injuries were reported, and authorities went ahead with the spectacular New Year's fireworks from the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, a few hundred metres away.
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