x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai’s Tecom workers tell of ‘massive boom’ as window-cleaning cradle falls from building

One resident says the incident could have been so much worse had the cradle not bounced off a balcony and away from the pavement and people below.

At least two people were seriously injured when the window-cleaning cradle fell from near the top of Al Shaiba Tower A, in Dubai’s Tecom area, on Tuesday morning. Pawan Singh / The National
At least two people were seriously injured when the window-cleaning cradle fell from near the top of Al Shaiba Tower A, in Dubai’s Tecom area, on Tuesday morning. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // People living and working near Al Shaiba Tower A, where a window-cleaning cradle fell from a 34-floor tower on Tuesday morning, say they are still in shock.

At least two people were seriously injured when the cradle fell from near the top of the Tecom tower.

“It was shocking to see what had happened,” said Adam Salman, who works in the Hair Fiesta salon on the ground floor of the tower and lives on the 34th floor.

“But it could have been much worse because it’s a busy area and we have so many people walking around.”

The incident occurred about 10.45am.

“I was asleep at the time and then heard a massive boom,” said Mr Salman. “I looked down and could see that the balcony of one of the lower floors, maybe the 31st floor, had been completely destroyed.

“The cradle must have bounced off the balcony and then landed on a couple of cars parked at the bottom. If that didn’t happen then many people standing or walking below would have died.”

The damaged cars have been removed from the parking bays and placed further up the road towards Internet City Metro Station.

The scene was still cordoned off on Wednesday and debris is still strewn around.

Some appeared to have broken the rear window of a car parked on the opposite side of the road, closer to Sheikh Zayed Road.

“My friend was sitting outside when it happened,” said Mr Salman. “He said he heard screams and people shouting, ‘it’s falling, it’s falling’, and then running to the sides when the cradle crashed to the ground.”

Tougher action on safety needs to be taken by the police, he said.

“This is the first time I can think of anything like this happening and the authorities need to do more checks and make sure that all the safety procedures are followed.”

Gem Veringa, who works at Yummy Gourmet, was in the takeaway when the cradle fell.

“I was doing some cleaning and then I heard a very loud bang,” Ms Veringa said. “It sounded like a loud explosion and I was very frightened.”

When she ventured out she saw where the cradle had landed and said some people had been injured.

“I saw one man, I think he was Filipino, and he had blood all over his face,” Ms Veringa said.

“It was horrible to see that and people were still running away because we weren’t sure if more things were going to fall down. I’m really worried that something like this will happen again.”

Businesses in the area remained open despite the disruption.

Police and hospital officials were not available for comment.

nhanif@thenational.ae