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Dubai Tower Burns a 2nd Time, and Flammable Cladding Is Again Under Scrutiny

The authorities blamed flammable siding for an enormous fire that tore through one of the world’s tallest residential buildings on Friday in Dubai, an eerie echo of a blaze that killed at least 80 people in London in June.

No one was killed or injured in Friday’s fire, the authorities said, which spread to up to 50 of the Torch Tower’s 86 stories, lighting up the sky and spewing burning debris to the streets below.

It was the second such fire at the building since 2015, when about 60 floors were burned. Investigators concluded then that the building’s exterior cladding, made of aluminum panels with combustible plastic cores, helped accelerate the flames.

The blaze on Friday erupted months after the city, the most populous in the United Arab Emirates, passed additional regulations that would require buildings with flammable cladding to replace the siding with flame-retardant materials. And it occurred only weeks after a deadly conflagration at the Grenfell Tower in London, which was also blamed on flammable siding.

Cladding has contributed to at least three other skyscraper fires in recent years in Dubai. Dozens of giant apartment buildings and hotels have been erected there in the last two decades.

Source: NYT > World

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