Thursday, 15 April 2021 04:49 GMT

Fire destroys workers' accommodation in Abu Dhabi


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A workers' accommodation in Al Reef, nearly 45 kilometres away from Abu Dhabi city centre, was destroyed when fire ripped through it on Saturday evening.

No casualties were reported as most workers were on duty when the accident happened.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Workers from the Dhabi Contracting Company said they saw thick smoke coming out of the first floor of the temporary accommodation block at around 4pm.

"I was in the next block when I saw the fire. There were no alarm bells ringing. We tried to salvage whatever we could from the rooms but most of the stuff including blankets, clothes, shoes and other things that belonged to our colleagues were destroyed," said an Indian worker who requested anonymity.

The accommodation facility built of porta cabins had several blocks, and each block had about 30 rooms. Another eyewitness said there were as many as eight people living in each room.

"The rooms are congested and there are no safety apparatus like fire extinguishers. Many people would have died if the fire happened in the night when we were sleeping," said a worker from Pakistan.

The Contracting company has around 1000 workers - mostly from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - living at the Al Reef accommodation.

A spokesperson from Dhabi Contracting company told Khaleej Times that the labourers have been moved to a different accommodation since the fire broke out on Saturday.

"We have moved all the labourers to a different accommodation and provided them with all the necessities they need, including new beds, food and money."

The spokesperson, who did not want to be named, said there were no casualties from the fire.

"Thankfully no one was injured from the fire."

He said that police were contacted as soon as the fire broke out, and firefighters swiftly stopped the blaze from spreading further.

As soon as one of the workers put a Facebook post about the fire, members of an online group called 'FreeCycle' responded with donations of essential items.

"200 men have now been divided into two camps and they have lost everything. They need all essentials which includes; clothes, pillows, mattresses, toiletries, blankets, etc. We are waiting on clearance from management to drop donations. We would love to have your help," read a post by the Page's administrator Gina Dillon.

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