ABU DHABI // One person has died after a fire broke out on Monday at a block of flats in the heart of the capital.
Flames and smoke could be seen pouring from the building on Airport Road, near the junction with 15th Street, about 3.30pm.
Police reported that an Asian died of smoke inhalation after being trapped on the eighth floor of the building.
No other injuries were reported.
A large crowd of onlookers formed, including those who had left the nine-storey building.
People in the crowd said residents had been lifted to safety with a crane.
“There was one crane with three or four people and they did it three or four times,” said Aurejandro Agbuya, 43, a Filipino who lives on the first floor of the building.
Resident Jocelyn Napoles said she was in her flat with her three children, aged 2, 5 and 8, when the blaze broke out.
“I saw the smoke,” said Ms Napoles, 33. “I was shouting and I brought my three kids outside without anything, only the kids. All my money is inside. I don’t have even Dh1.
“I don’t know where I’m going to go. I’m calling all my friends and relatives to help me. I’m shaking. I don’t know what is the cause. I was just running down.”
Among those gathered at the back of the building was Marilyn Ramos, 37, who had worry etched across her face. The Filipina cleaner, lives on the seventh floor.
“I was working,” Ms Ramos said. “Somebody called me to say there’s a fire in the seventh floor. I don’t know what has happened. I want to go up but I’m not allowed to go.”
No cause for the fire was given, and police are still investigating. The flats are above shops including a pharmacy, restaurant and cafeteria.