Posts Tagged ‘FIRE’

44 missing in Sao Paulo squatter-building blaze and collapse: firefighters — “31 fire department vehicles, 78 firefighters” involved

May 2, 2018

Image may contain: outdoor

 Police officers look as firefighters work to extinguish the fire in a 24-story building that collapsed after catching fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday. | AFP-JI

Forty-four people were listed as still missing Wednesday after a 24-storey building used by squatters in central Sao Paulo was engulfed in fire and collapsed, the Brazilian city’s fire department said.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster on Tuesday only three were unaccounted for, including one man who was seconds from being successfully rescued by firefighters before the building suddenly crashed down.

 

“The fire department is continuing to search, currently with 31 vehicles, 78 firefighters,” the department tweeted.

“44 missing.”

There was no indication whether the large number of missing were considered likely to have been killed and buried under the rubble, or whether they simply were not there at the time.

The building, a disused former police headquarters, was occupied by 146 homeless families, officials say, blaming lack of even basic fire prevention measures for the accident.

Officials have not given a specific cause for the blaze.

Sao Paulo is Brazil’s financial capital and the most populous city in Latin America, but suffers huge economic inequality. Poor families often squat in disused buildings or set up tents and shacks on vacant land, sometimes next to wealthy areas.

President Michel Temer, who is Brazil’s most unpopular leader on record, with single-digit approval ratings, got a hostile reception when he briefly visited the scene.

“We want housing!” a crowd chanted before he hurriedly left.

AFP-JIJI

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Sydney bushfire deemed ‘highly suspicious’ as threat eases

April 16, 2018

A large bushfire that has threatened homes in Sydney is likely to have been deliberately lit, Australian authorities say.

BBC News

Helicopters water bomb a bush fire at Alfords Point and Menai. Picture by Damian Shaw

Helicopters water bomb a bush fire at Alfords Point and Menai. Picture by Damian ShawSource:News Corp Australia

A large bushfire that has threatened homes in Sydney is likely to have been deliberately lit, Australian authorities say.

The blaze, which began on Saturday, has burnt through 2,500 hectares of land in the city’s southern suburbs.

Some residents had been warned of immediate danger to their lives, but firefighters say the threat has eased.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) described the blaze as “highly suspicious”.

“How dare anyone – if they are deliberately involved in lighting fires – endanger our firefighters and also [put] all these communities in harm’s way,” said Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

The bushfire forced some locals to evacuate their homes on the weekend, while others were told it was too dangerous to leave.

Recent weather in south-eastern Australia has been unseasonably hot, with strong winds fanning bushfires.

Firefighters use helicopters to dump water on the blazeImage copyrightEPA
Image captionFirefighters use helicopters to dump water on the blaze

Authorities said wind speeds were not as severe on Monday, making it easier to battle the blaze.

Mr Fitzsimmons said flames travelled “right up to the back fences” of houses, but no properties had been lost.

“While the threat has eased, it is still a fairly vigilant fire ground and we want people to remain vigilant,” he said.

“There is a lot of work still to be done today and maybe into tonight before we can call the fire contained.”

Police have declared the fire a crime scene.

Mr Fitzsimmons said it was possible that winds could strengthen again and elevate the fire danger.

On the weekend, residents hosed down their houses and lawns to prevent embers sparking new blazes ahead of the advancing fire front.

The fire seen from a football match in Barden Ridge, one of the affected suburbsImage copyrightDYLAN LONG
Image captionSmoke seen from a football field in the suburb of Barden Ridge

Major roads separating bushland and residences were cut off in some areas, and fire services used helicopters to dump water over key points.

Pictures on social media showed firefighters and residents taking care of local wildlife affected by the blaze.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised the emergency response.

“It is unseasonably hot and that’s a matter of obviously great concern, but we have to deal with the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us and the worse Australians are presented with by nature, the better it brings out the Australian spirit,” he said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-43779186

See also:

Southwestern Sydney residents warned to take shelter as bushfire upgraded to emergency

http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/southwest-sydney-grassfire-flames-within-reach-of-homes-20m-from-trains/news-story/bd9456811238d370d009d43fc07e9dc4

Dozens dead after blaze sweeps through Indonesia fireworks factory

October 26, 2017

AFP

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-10-26

Dozens of people have been killed and dozens more injured in a blaze that tore through a fireworks factory outside the Indonesian capital, police said Thursday, triggering explosions and sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

The fire broke out at an industrial complex in Tangerang, a satellite city of Jakarta.

“There are 103 workers in total at this factory, 43 are injured and being treated in three hospitals, the remains of 23 victims have been found,” Nico Afinta from the Jakarta police told Kompas TV.

Many of the bodies of the victims were found clustered at the back of the factory, police said, indicating there may have been a panicked rush to flee the flames.

A firefighter at the scene said the victims had been burned beyond recognition.

“Those who died are completely unrecognisable, totally burnt,” Oni Sahroni told Metro TV.

Parts of the building collapsed after being gutted by the blaze, which scorched nearby cars. Witnesses reported hearing blasts erupt from the site.

Local resident Beni Benteng told AFP said he heard an explosion and people inside screaming for help.

“My friends and I and some police officers knocked down a wall so people could escape, then the workers came out,” he said.

“I saw people including women were jumping from above, oh my God,” he added.

The blaze, which broke out in the morning, was brought under control by late afternoon and authorities were working to recover the victims’ bodies from the building.

Explosions

Authorities have not yet said how the fire started, but have confirmed it began near the front door and quickly spread.

“Victims were found piling at the back, it seems like they were avoiding the blaze at the front door,” Afinta told Metro TV.

Desperate friends and family thronged a nearby police hospital in Keramat Kati looking for loved ones.

Video footage shot by an AFP stringer showed victims, covered in bandages, laid out on stretches and others with minor injuries sitting in the hallways or outside.

A factory worker at the hospital in Keramat Kati said the fire erupted in the middle of production.

“I don’t know how it happened, I was working outside of the factory and there were some explosions, four cars exploded and almost all motorbikes also exploded,” Ade, who suffered burns to his arms and legs, told AFP.

The factory — part of a complex that borders a residential area — had only been operating for six weeks, district government official Toni Rustoni told Metro TV.

Fire-hit Greece calls off EU help as PM says conditions improve

August 16, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Greek firefighters and volunteers trying to extinguish a fire east of Athens, as the army was called in to assist the effort
ATHENS (AFP) – Greece on Wednesday called off a request for European assistance in battling wildfires as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said firefighters had gained the upper hand in halting a destructive blaze near Athens after three days.”The worst has been avoided,” Tsipras said after flying over the disaster zone northeast of Athens by helicopter, adding that about 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares) of forest and scrubland had been ravaged.

“Fortunately there are no victims… the damage was limited through your superhuman efforts,” Tsipras told firefighters.

Authorities said they had finally placed under control a huge wildfire in Kapandriti and Kalamos that had broken out on Monday in an area dotted with vacation homes.

It took nearly 300 firefighters, 100 soldiers, five air bombers and seven helicopters to check its advance.

At least five properties were destroyed, authorities said.

“The situation is better this morning,” a fire department source told AFP.

As a result, fire service spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri said Greece had cancelled a request for European assistance.

“International assistance was deemed unnecessary. The dispatch of firefighters from Cyprus and fire-fighting aircraft has been cancelled,” she said.

But Malliri said active fronts remained on the island of Zakynthos and in the western Peloponnese, though the situation was improving there as well.

Greek officials say many of the fires were thought to have been started deliberately.

The fire service said an incendiary device had been found in a forest on the island of Samos on Tuesday.

Third Dubai Fire in Days Forces Evacuation of Hotel

August 7, 2017

DUBAI — A small fire broke out a Dubai hotel on Monday, forcing guests and staff to leave, in the third such blaze in the United Arab Emirates tourism and trade hub in less than a week.

Several fire engines and an ambulance were deployed at the Movenpick hotel near the Marina district as scores of people gathered outside.

Image result for Movenpick hotel, photos, dubai

A video of the hotel posted on social media showed thin clouds of smoke wafting around a lower floor.

The hotel said on its official Twitter account that the fire was “swiftly brought under control and guests and staff were safely evacuated.”

Civil defense workers gave the all-clear for people to return inside and there were no reports of injuries.

A blaze shot up the side of a nearby residential tower on Friday, and local media reported that a smaller fire was quickly put out at a neighboring building on Sunday. No injuries were reported in either of those fires.

The series of fires in tall buildings in the UAE has revived questions about the safety of cladding materials used in the Gulf region and beyond.

(Reporting By Sylvia Westall; Writing by Noah Browning; editing by John Stonestreet)

Related:

Image result for torch tower, burning, photos

Flames shoot up the sides of the Torch tower residential building in the Marina district, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in this Fri., Aug. 4, 2017 picture.

© AFP | Exterior cladding installed during a recent renovation has been blamed for spreading the fire that consumed London’s Grenfell Tower, killing at least 80 people

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The high-rise Fountain Views complex is being built by state-backed Dubai developer Emaar Properties

The high-rise Fountain Views complex is being built by state-backed Dubai developer Emaar Properties CREDIT:  KARIM SAHIB/AFP

A fire rages at a skyscraper in the Dubai Marina section of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The residential skyscraper in Dubai caught...

A fire rages at a skyscraper in the Dubai Marina section of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The residential skyscraper in Dubai caught fire in the densely populated Marina district, sending columns of smoke into the air and pieces of the building’s facade tumbling below. It’s the latest in a number of skyscraper fires across the United Arab Emirates in recent months. The most prominent was a New Year’s inferno at a 63-story residence near the world’s tallest tower. (AP Photo/Adam Schreck)

The Address Hotel Dubai, on Friday Morning, January 1, 2016
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The Address Downtown is on fire, with the flames reaching from the ground floor up another 40 storeys 

The Address Downtown is on fire, with the flames reaching from the ground floor up another 40 storeys

Emergency services were quickly on the scene of the fire, which is said to be confined to the outside 
Emergency services were quickly on the scene of the fire, which is said to be confined to the outside
.
The hotel is very close to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, and where the city were about to celebrate the New Year

The hotel is very close to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, and where the city were about to celebrate the New Year

It is unclear whether anyone has been injured in the fire, which can be seen across the city

It is unclear whether anyone has been injured in the fire, which can be seen across the city

Fire erupts in Dubai residential highrise (It’s the cladding)

August 6, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Dubai has announced tougher rules to minimise fire risks after a series of tower blazes in the emirate

DUBAI (AFP) – A fire erupted in a residential highrise in Dubai Sunday, authorities said, days after a blaze tore through a tower across the street.

Dubai Civil Defence said Sunday it had put out the “minor fire” that broke out on a balcony in the 78-storey Tiger Tower, which opened to residents in 2010. No injuries were reported.

The building is across the street from The Torch, an 87-storey residential tower which was engulfed by a fire in early hours of Friday, with no reports of injuries.

The Torch was also the scene of a 2015 fire that triggered a mass evacuation of surrounding buildings.

In January, Dubai announced tougher rules to minimise fire risks after a series of tower blazes in the emirate mostly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of the buildings.

In the early hours of January 1, 2015, on New Year’s Eve, 16 people were injured when a fire broke out in one of Dubai’s luxury hotels.

In November 2015, fire engulfed three residential blocks in central Dubai and led to services on a metro line being suspended, although no one was hurt.

In just over a decade, Dubai has built dozens of futuristic skyscrapers which have transformed its skyline.

The city is home to the world’s tallest building, Burj al-Khalifa, which stands 828 metres (2,700 feet) tall, as well as iconic palm tree-shaped, man-made luxury residential islands.

Related:

Image result for torch tower, burning, photos

Flames shoot up the sides of the Torch tower residential building in the Marina district, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in this Fri., Aug. 4, 2017 picture.

© AFP | Exterior cladding installed during a recent renovation has been blamed for spreading the fire that consumed London’s Grenfell Tower, killing at least 80 people

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The high-rise Fountain Views complex is being built by state-backed Dubai developer Emaar Properties

The high-rise Fountain Views complex is being built by state-backed Dubai developer Emaar Properties CREDIT:  KARIM SAHIB/AFP

A fire rages at a skyscraper in the Dubai Marina section of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The residential skyscraper in Dubai caught...

A fire rages at a skyscraper in the Dubai Marina section of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The residential skyscraper in Dubai caught fire in the densely populated Marina district, sending columns of smoke into the air and pieces of the building’s facade tumbling below. It’s the latest in a number of skyscraper fires across the United Arab Emirates in recent months. The most prominent was a New Year’s inferno at a 63-story residence near the world’s tallest tower. (AP Photo/Adam Schreck)

The Address Hotel Dubai, on Friday Morning, January 1, 2016
.
The Address Downtown is on fire, with the flames reaching from the ground floor up another 40 storeys 

The Address Downtown is on fire, with the flames reaching from the ground floor up another 40 storeys

Emergency services were quickly on the scene of the fire, which is said to be confined to the outside 
Emergency services were quickly on the scene of the fire, which is said to be confined to the outside
.
The hotel is very close to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, and where the city were about to celebrate the New Year

The hotel is very close to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, and where the city were about to celebrate the New Year

It is unclear whether anyone has been injured in the fire, which can be seen across the city

It is unclear whether anyone has been injured in the fire, which can be seen across the city

Flames Engulf 86-Story Residential Skyscraper in Dubai — One of the world’s tallest residential towers

August 4, 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Firefighters brought under control a blaze that broke out early Friday in one of the world’s tallest residential towers in Dubai, engulfing part of the skyscraper and sending chunks of debris plummeting below, the city authorities announced.

More than 40 floors of the 86-story Torch Tower were burning on one side of the building, an Associated Press journalist near the scene of the blaze said. Building residents could be seen on the street outside crying with several saying the fire broke out just after 1 a.m.

Image result for torch tower, burning, photos

Flames shoot up the sides of the Torch tower residential building in the Marina district, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in this Fri., Aug. 4, 2017 picture.

Dubai’s Civil Defense announced at about 3:30 a.m. that firefighters had brought the blaze under control and that no injuries had been reported.

“Cooling operations are underway,” Dubai’s official media office said on Twitter.

It was the second time in 2 ½ years that the more than 1,100-foot-tall (335 meters) tower has been ravaged by fire. The tower, located in the popular waterfront Marina district, caught fire in February 2015, but there were no major casualties reported in that blaze.

Early Friday, authorities shared a photo of the charred and blackened tower but it was no longer visibly in flames. Officials said they were now working on providing shelter for those affected.

Dubai police cordoned off several blocks around the building, keeping people away from the fire’s falling debris.

Several skyscrapers in the United Arab Emirates have caught fire in recent years, including a towering inferno that engulfed a 63-story luxury hotel in Dubai on New Year’s Eve in 2016. In that blaze, as in others in Dubai in recent years, residents escaped without major injury.

Earlier this year, Dubai passed new fire safety rules requiring buildings with quick-burning side paneling to replace it with more fire-resistant siding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.

A devastating tower fire in London in June killed at least 80 people and prompted Britain to order more thorough testing on the cladding systems of its towers.

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Shell Refinery in Rotterdam to Remain Closed Until at Least Mid-August

August 1, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell says a refinery in Rotterdam it largely shut down over the weekend following a fire at an electricity station will remain closed until at least mid-August.

Aug. 1, 2017, at 9:56 a.m.

The Associated Press

Explosion bei Shell in den Niederlanden

Shell spokesman Thijs van Velzen says the fire started late Saturday, July 29, 2017 and was extinguished by Sunday morning. Nobody was injured.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell says a refinery in Rotterdam that it largely shut down over the weekend following a fire at an electricity station will remain closed until at least mid-August.

The energy multinational said in a statement Tuesday that it expects to restart operations at the Pernis refinery “at the earliest in the second half of August.”

The Pernis refinery in Rotterdam’s sprawling port is Europe’s largest. It has the capacity to refine just over 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The company has not released details of the financial impact of the closure.

In a statement, Shell says: “we are doing everything we can to minimize impact to our customers.”

Related:

Shell Shuts Down Most of Netherlands Refinery — Europe’s Biggest — Due to Fire

July 30, 2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Royal Dutch Shell is shutting down most units at its refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands after a fire at a high-voltage electricity switch station.

Explosion bei Shell in den Niederlanden

Shell spokesman Thijs van Velzen says the fire started late Saturday and was extinguished by Sunday morning. Nobody was injured.

The Pernis refinery in Rotterdam’s sprawling port is Europe’s largest. It has the capacity to refine just over 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The shutdown led to Shell burning off excess gases at the plant, a process known as flaring. The move sent large flames into the sky on Sunday.

Van Velzen says the cause of the fire is under investigation. He declined comment on the financial implications of the shutdown.

Related:

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Local media in the Netherlands reported that people across a wide area heard blasts and could see flames soaring into the night sky from the 320-hectare (790-acre) chemical plant operated by oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in the town of Moerdijk near the port city of Rotterdam.

Shell spokesman Thijs van Velzen said that two people suffered minor injuries: “All the people that were present are safe,” he said. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

Residents told local radio and television that they heard “two powerful bangs” which rocked the area around 10:45 pm (2045 UTC) and that the ground “shook like in an earthquake.” All road and river traffic near the site was suspended.

Dutch public television showed pictures of the flames and large plumes of smoke, which could be seen from Rotterdam, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) away.

The plant manufactures chemicals from petroleum used in products ranging from car components to insulation materials, paints and antifreeze.

The incident was close to the scene of another major fire three years ago at a chemical storage facility.

jm/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)

Shell Oil Refinery in Rotterdam Shut Down For Fire — Europe’s largest refinery

July 30, 2017

AFP

© ANP/AFP | The fire at Europe’s largest refinery was brought under control early Sunday
THE HAGUE (AFP) – A fire on Sunday in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam forced the closure of Europe’s largest refinery run by Anglo-Dutch company Shell.Firefighters brought the blaze, which sent flames billowing into the sky, under control by around 6:00 am (0400 GMT).

“The fire started last night in a high-voltage power station at the Shell Pernis refinery in Rotterdam,” a Shell spokesman told AFP.

“Several units are stopped and for security reasons we are burning off the gas that remained inside them,” the spokesman added.

Shell has not confirmed local media reports that the fire may have been caused by a short circuit. Instead the company said it would “wait to know more about the circumstances of the incident.”

According to the regional security authority, there were no toxic materials in the smoke but there may be soot.

Shell could not immediately disclose the extent of the damage, nor when the refinery would be operating at full power.

“The shutting down and restarting the units can take several hours, or even a day for some,” the spokesman said.