A massive fire has engulfed the Marine Torch skyscraper in Dubai – one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.
The fire started in the middle of the tower – on the 50th floor – and rapidly spread up through 20 floors.
Thousands of people were evacuated but it was unclear from early reports whether there had been any fatalities.
Debris was said to be falling into the street and the marina below, according to Gulf News.
The tower is 1,105 feet (336.1 m) high with 79 floors above ground. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Here’s what you need to know about the blaze:
1. ‘It’s Like the Titanic Going Down,’ Said an Eyewitness
One eyewitness told the BBC “there was debris flying everywhere, falling into neighboring buildings.
“The civil defense came really quickly and they have said there were no casualties, everybody was told to evacuate in a timely manner and we think everybody was okay,” added the eyewitness.
Another witness told Gulf News the building looked like “titanic going down.”
2. Molten Glass is Falling From the Sky
Chunks of masonry and molten glass were falling from the blazing building to the ground below, said fire fighters.
3. The Fire Alarm Went Off at 2.05 am
Security guards ran from apartment to apartment in the early hours of Saturday morning in Dubai after the fire broke out.
Kathryn Dickie, who lives on the 13th floor, told ABC News that the fire alarms began going off about 2 a.m. local time Saturday.
“The guards were pretty frantic,” she said. Dickie, from Australia, ran to a friend’s apartment nearby where they watched firefighters tackle the blaze.
4. Wind is Causing The Flames to Spread
Strong winds which have prevailed all week in Dubai made battling the flames all the more difficult for fire fighters.
Many residents evacuated complained of smoke inhalation.
5. The Marina Torch Became The Tallest Residential Building in 2011 Surpassing Q1 in Gold Coast, Australia
The skyscraper is located in the Dubai Marina complex which houses many high-rise and upmarket residential buildings. It was the tallest residential building in the world when it opened to great fanfare in 2011 but there are now several other blocks higher in Dubai and one in New York.
The tower has 504 apartment units including four duplex apartment suites and is located close to the city’s business district and remains an icon of wealth and prestige in the Middle East.
Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which is 2,716.5 feet tall and more than 160 stories.