A huge fire is raging in an apartment block in the capital. The blaze broke out at about 1.10pm in a 12-storey apartment block on 9th Street, between Airport Road and Muroor Road. Hundreds of people gathered outside the burning building as fire and ambulance crews from the Emergency and Civil Defense departments rushed to the scene. There was no immediate word on casualties, but Mohammed al Naimi, the head of the Abu Dhabi Emergency and Public Safety Department, said this was because most of the buildings residents were at Friday prayers. "The residents of the building are mostly bachelors so the block was nearly empty as everyone was attending Friday prayers," said Mohammed al Naimi, the head of the Abu Dhabi Emergency and Public Safety Department. "We don't know for definite what caused the fire but it appears to have started through carelessness, someone may have left something unattended." Mr al Naimi added that the building was more than twenty years old and although it had been maintained on the outside, the inside of the building had been neglected. Shahid Asgar, a 34-year-old Pakistani, who lives in the building, said that it lacked adequate fire escapes. "The only way out would be through the windows," he said. By 3.30pm the emergency services had the fire under control. * The National staff
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