More than 100 Torch apartments 'not accessible'

Building insurer says residents of 101 units have been offered alternative accommodation for seven days

Over 100 units are still not accessible to residents and owners after Saturday morning's fire. Images: Gawker
Over 100 units are still not accessible to residents and owners after Saturday morning's fire. Images: Gawker

Nearly a sixth of apartment units in the blaze-hit The Torch tower in Dubai are still not accessible to residents, the building's insurer said on Monday.

Oman Insurance Company (OIC), the largest insurer in the UAE, said out of the 676 apartments units in the Dubai Marina tower, 101 are still not habitable and the affected owners and tenants have been offered alternative accommodation.

Under the Emergency Accommodation provision, the Gloria hotel, Media One hotel and the Marriott hotel have been contracted to provide the affected residents and owners with a place to stay up to seven days from the date of the fire.

After seven days, owners and residents who are not still allowed to occupy their flat for safety reasons will need to find alternative accommodation and arrange it by themselves, OIC said in a statement.

On Sunday, Select Group, the developer of The Torch which was evacuated on Saturday after the major blaze broke out, said its fire safety systems had worked "as planned" and residents have started to return to their homes.

A witness said flames shot out from two sides of the building as glass and metal rained down from near the summit of the structure, which stands more than 330 metres (1,082 feet) tall.

Four people suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Commenting on the fire, Patrick Choffel, CEO of OIC said: “When we heard the news, the Oman Insurance’s team moved immediately. A loss adjuster was assigned and, as soon as Saturday, alternative accommodation was arranged to support the families in distress.”

Oman Insurance Company was contracted to insure the building by The Torch Tower’s Owner Association managed by Kingfield Owner Association Management Services.

Tim Crowe, Kingfield Owner Association manager said: “We have confidence that Oman Insurance will continue to assist us with reasonable settlement of valid claims under the terms of the insurance policy.”

OIC is the largest insurance company in the UAE with a gross written premium over AED3.25 billion ($884 million) in 2014.

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