Debris rains down as fire engulfs Dubai skyscraper

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Fire broke out Thursday in a residential building near the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai, where a massive New Year's fireworks display was set to be held.

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It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which ran up at least 20 storeys of the building near the Burj Khalifa, which is 828 metres tall.

Burning debris rained down from the building as firetrucks raced to the scene. It was not immediately clear if anyone was wounded in the blaze.

The fire broke out about two hours before midnight, when the fireworks display was set to begin. Tens of thousands of people had gathered in the area ahead of the extravaganza.

Dubai planned to wow spectators with three separate firework displays. The show was to begin at the Burj Khalifa, which organizers said was fitted with 400,000 LED lights. They said 1.6 tons of fireworks would be used in the display.

From there, the fireworks were to light up the sky around the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and later down near the Dubai Marina. Fireworks also will be on display in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country of seven emirates.


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