Fire forces evacuation of Abu Dhabi tower and luxury hotel
A high-rise building under construction in Abu Dhabi has caught fire, forcing the evacuation of the structure and a nearby luxury hotel in the latest in a series of tower blazes to hit the United Arab Emirates.
The fire began at the more than 20-storey building, which appeared to be nearing completion on the Emirati capital's skyscraper-studded main island. Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the blue tower for miles.
Government-owned daily The National reported that hundreds of labourers were cleared from the building as authorities sealed off the surrounding area.
The adjacent Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi hotel was forced to evacuate because of the fire, and was putting guests up overnight at its other properties in the city.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Cities in the fast-developing Emirates have been hit by a spate of fires in recent years, including one in a residential tower in Dubai last month and another at a luxury hotel next to the city's biggest shopping mall on New Year's Eve.