Fire in Reem Island sends a plume of smoke across Abu Dhabi
Blaze appears to be coming from a diesel facility on the southern area of the island
The third major fire in less than a year on a residential island in Abu Dhabi sent a plume of thick black smoke across the city on Wednesday.
The blaze, in Reem Island, began at around 3pm. Eyewitnesses said that a storage facility, used to keep industrial materials such as wooden pellets as well as diesel, had caught fire following a loud bang. They said they believed the fuel had somehow been set alight with the fire then spreading rapidly due to large quantities of flammable material in the building.
A security guard who works on the island told The National that he did not believe anyone had been injured, although this was not formally confirmed by the ambulance service or police.
The fire broke out on the south east of the island, close to the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi campus and construction workers’ accommodation. Reem Island has expanded rapidly in recent years, although large parts of the island, including a new mall and several new residential devlopements, are still under construction.
“It is storage, used for concrete barriers, things like that,” one worker at the scene said as he observed the flaming building. “It started like a big blast. It suddenly erupted and there was all the smoke, and it quickly made a big fire.
“An hour after it started the fire engines are still coming. They need to refill the fire hydrants which are all emptied. But I have been told no one is injured — it is only property damage.”
It is the third reported fire on Reem Island this year. In March, black smoke was again seen across the city after a tower block, which was still under construction, caught fire. Then, in June, there was another major blaze, at a construction site close to Amaya Towers.
Around two hours after Wednesday's fire was first reported, flames were still reaching around 4 metres in height. Firefighters were working to get the blaze under control using hoses deployed from an aerial work platform, and were barely visible from the ground due to the thick black smoke that engulfed the emergency workers. Several police patrols and ambulances also attended the scene with officers clearing pedestrians from the area.
Updated: December 26, 2018 06:44 PM