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Video: Fire scours Tamweel Tower in Dubai's JLT

by John Bambridge on Nov 18, 2012


Fire working its way up a sheltered corner in the facade, fuelled by flammable cladding on two sides.
Fire working its way up a sheltered corner in the facade, fuelled by flammable cladding on two sides.

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A large fire broke out in the Tamweel Towers in Dubai in the early hours of the morning, causing residents to be evacuated. Officials have confirmed that there were no casualties.

According to eyewitnesses, burning debris was responsible for spreading the fire to different floors.

Members of the civil defense fire team present at the site explicitly blamed the flammable cladding on the building, which allowed the fire to spread rapidly up the building and set alight to the entire crown.

 

Three surrounding buildings were also evacuated, and residents milled below behind a security cordon.

Property developer Tamweel posted a statement on the Dubai Financial Market, thanking Dubai Civil Defense for containing the blaze and saying: "Our very highest priority is the safety and well-being of the residents."

According to Tamweel's website, the tower has 34 storeys, office and retail space, and 160 apartments.

To read the full story click here


FEATURED COMMENT

I don't know what the cladding at the Tamweel Tower comprised of, but the following extract from 1990 European recommend

  5 Comments


Readers' Comments


Khalid R Hasan (Nov 21, 2012)
Tamweel Tower Fire
I don't know what the cladding at the Tamweel Tower comprised of, but the following extract from 1990 European recommendations on sandwich panes had this to say "The use of sandwich panes with PUR, PIR or expanded polystyrene cores should not be used without fire protecting barriers (such as 9.5mm plasterboard)in residential buildings where people sleep:certainly such panels with a thin inner facing of thin aluminium for example which is destroyed early in a fire, should not be used in such buildings".

Peter (Nov 20, 2012)
Zurich
Switzerland

Frustrated?
Frustrated's comments regarding insurers display a lack of knowledge here. At fault is the housekeeping of the contractor. Insurers would most likely have a standard fire prevention clause, and a breakdown of the procedure on site has led to the fire propagating. Having worked for a top 3 contractor in the Middle East, and an insurer in Zurich - this is nothing to do with insurer's being forced into low premiums.

Frustrated (Nov 19, 2012) United Arab Emirates

JLT Tamweel Tower
Why are insurance companies undertaking such risks? There is no doubt that financial considerations in capturing premiums have a priority over risk undertaking. Regulator, Civil Defence, Developers/Contractors and Insurers have a responsibility across the board to regulate the monitor the construction codes. Congratulations, short term profits will be followed by huge claims.....

Clarence S Lewis (Nov 18, 2012)
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

JLT Tamweel Tower Fire
Numerous articles have been written & opinions have been expressed by various people from the Civil & MEP field including me on this critical topic. But alas no steps are being taken by the consultants nor the statutory authorities to avoid recurrence of such events. To date, most of the specifications for external cladding for buildings call for this type of aluminium composite panel, which is a ticking explosive. In my opinion, the traditional cement & the brick walls are much more fire resistant & can be made much better with the help of latest developments in technology. The government could stop the production & import of the composite panels with immediate effect. This would automatically pave the way for better ones which are fire-rated or new alternatives and substitutes to be developed.

Thom Bohlen (Nov 18, 2012)
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

JLT Tamweel Tower Fire
Another fire on an existing residential tower having non-fire resistive aluminum cladding panels, is hauntingly reminiscent of two similar tower fires in Sharjah a few short months ago and again in TECOM very recently. There are many other towers in the U.A.E. that have this type of cladding, (estimated at 500) and this presents a looming problem for the civil defense authorities, the occupants, and the building owners. A thorough investigation of this problem needs to take place and solutions need to be vetted and implemented before further tragedies like this one occur.


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