Abbco Tower: Fire engulfs skyscraper in UAE city of Sharjah

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Image source, AFP

Twelve people were injured after a fire engulfed a skyscraper in the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, showering debris on to streets below.

Tenants were evacuated swiftly from the Abbco Tower, a 49-storey residential building, when the alarm was raised at about 21:00 (17:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

Firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control in less than three hours, local media reported.

Three of the 12 casualties were taken to hospital for treatment.

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"I heard fire alarms but thought it was a drill," Fadlallah Hassoun, a Syrian national who lived on the 15th floor, told Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National.

"Then when I heard sirens and screams I looked outside and saw neighbours running down the stairs from the emergency exit."

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Sharjah Civil Defence chief Col Sami Al Naqbi said tenants were evacuated before the fire spread throughout the building, which helped to avoid any serious injuries.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.