Sunday, August 17, 2008

Transformer blast triggers fire at Burj site

Emergency authorities rushed to Burj Dubai shortly after 10am on Sunday when an explosion rocked the construction area at the base of the world’s tallest freestanding tower.

Fire, police and ambulance officials were on scene within minutes as a black plume of smoke billowed from an open area northeast of the Burj Dubai tower between the Dubai Mall and Emaar offices.

Workers on the site told XPRESS they heard a loud boom and saw black smoke rising from the ground.

A fire, they said, started when an electrical transformer near Gate 4 of the tower apparently malfunctioned and exploded.

The area was cordoned off and the smoke cleared before 1am.

A driver at the scene said, “We heard a huge bang. It was like an explosion. The transformer burst and this led to the fire.”

Another worker on site said, “The electrical transformer caught fire. The electricity for the area has been cut off.”

An employee in one of the site offices said, “The fire took place next to the site office building, very close to Gate 4. The entire area has been cordoned off and we have been prohibited from entering our office.”

The fire was caused by a temporary DEWA transformer providing power to the construction area, an Emaar statement said. The Emaar emergency personnel and the Dubai Civil Defence team arrived quickly to the scene and took control of the situation.

There were no injuries and or damage to property reported, said the statement. Authorities are working on restoring power to the area. “Emaar has several safety initiatives and monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of personnel and property during construction,” said a spokesperson.

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