The five-star hotel in Dubai engulfed by flames just before the New Years’ firework display was still smouldering this morning, as reports suggest the inferno was triggered by curtains catching fire.
The Address Downtown, one of the most upscale hotels in the city, started at around 9.30pm Dubai time just 500 yards from where the fireworks were due to begin.
Firefighters managed to subdue the inferno, but part of the luxury building is still smoking and a fire is still visible on the 20th floor, where the blaze apparently started.
Medics said at least 60 people were injured and one person suffered a heart attack from the smoke and overcrowding.
Those who escaped described how people climbed over each other in their rush to escape the burning building. One Briton was forced to carry his disabled mother on his back.
However, miraculously no one is believed to have been killed.
The 200-room hotel – which also boasts 600 private apartments – would likely have been packed with people waiting in their rooms for the best view of the fireworks display at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, which sits just across the lake from The Address.
Those waiting below found themselves in danger of being struck by burning debris falling from the building.
One photographer had a miraculous escape, using a window cleaner’s heavy duty rope to get to safety.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, had been on a balcony planning to take pictures of the firework display, when the fire broke out.
Fearing he would be suffocated if he re-entered the hotel, he grabbed the cable which was attached to a window-cleaning platform and tied it to his belt.
He was left precariously standing on the balcony sill. Clutching hold of the rope with one arm, he used the other to ring for help.
Civil Defence workers told him to remain calm and half an hour later they approached his floor.
He said: ‘When I saw lights and heard the sounds of footsteps at the floor I was in, I started tapping on the aluminium to get their attention. I think I was the only person left stuck that long. The rope was my saviour’.
Read more: Daily Mail