Posts Tagged ‘FIRE’

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
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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.

British Police Suspect Corporate Manslaughter Over Tower Blaze: BBC

July 27, 2017

LONDON — British police investigating the Grenfell Tower fire that killed at least 80 people in London last month said there are grounds to suspect that corporate manslaughter may have been committed by the local council, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The BBC said Kensington and Chelsea Council and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation have been told there are grounds to suspect that each may have committed the offense.

“There are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organization may have committed the offense of corporate manslaughter,” the BBC quoted a letter from London police to residents of the tower block as saying.

Kensington and Chelsea Council did not immediately comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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BBC News

Grenfell Tower: Corporate manslaughter considered by police

Police investigating the Grenfell Tower fire say they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect that corporate manslaughter offences may have been committed.

The council and tenant management organisation which ran the London tower block have both been told there are grounds to suspect they may have committed the offence.

It emerged in a letter from the Met Police to residents of the block.

At least 80 people died in the fire in North Kensington on 14 June.

The relevant section of the letter says Met Police officers have “seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements”.

“After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenancy Management Organisation that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007,” it added.

Evidence gathering

The Met Police also released a statement on Thursday, stating that its investigation into the cause and spread of the fire was a “complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete”.

“The Met has made a commitment to the families who lost loved ones in the fire and survivors that they will be kept updated, as far as we possibly can, as the investigation continues.”

BBC home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds says Met Police have briefed a number of times that corporate manslaughter is a possible offence being considered as part of their investigation, along with breaches of health and safety laws.

In the case of corporate manslaughter, this is an offence which can only be committed by a corporation – not an individual, therefore no-one can be arrested in this instance.

The effect of what the police have said is to put both organisations on notice that their senior executives are likely to be questioned under caution in relation to the fire. This means that evidence can be used against both bodies in a court, our correspondent added.

The news comes after site manager at the tower block, Michael Lockwood, told a public meeting on Wednesday that the building would be covered in August.

He said that he expected the demolition of the tower block would begin “towards the end of 2018”.

Some possessions could be retrieved from 33 of the block’s flats, he added.

And a Newsnight investigation has shown that an official test of the types of materials used at Grenfell Tower suggest that designs such as that used in the tower’s cladding are fundamentally flawed.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40747241

Large fire hits London’s Camden Lock Market — London’s Camden Market Fire Under Control

July 10, 2017

AFP

© AFP / File | The London Fire Brigade says on twitter that three floors and roof of a building in Camden Lock Market are on fire

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-07-10

Seventy firefighters battled a large fire in a building in London’s popular Camden Lock Market in the early hours of Monday, the London Fire Brigade said.

The emergency service said it had also sent 10 fire engines to the scene, near a nightclub and a covered market.

There were no reports of any casualties.

“The first, second and third floors, plus the roof, of a building within the market are alight,” the London Fire Brigade said on Twitter.

“The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers have taken multiple calls to the highly visible blaze and people are asked to avoid the area,” it said on Facebook.

View image on Twitter

We now have ten fire engines and over 70 firefighters dealing with the  Lock Market fire. Please avoid the area © @CamdenJohnny

Images shared on social media showed tall flames and a burnt out building at the north London market, which is popular with Londoners and tourists.

“The fire was moving very fast,” witness Joan Ribes, 24, told the Press Association.

He said the fire “was flying through the air to the surrounding areas”.

“People were watching, but we were scared the building could explode at any time since there are restaurants with kitchens nearby,” he said.

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said they were called to a fire at 00:07 am (2307 GMT on Sunday).

“We sent a clinical team leader and our Hazardous Area Response Team to the scene.

“We have not treated any patients, and we remain at the scene,” she said.

(AFP)

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Reuters

Fire in London’s Camden Market brought under control

Firefighters tackle a fire at Camden Market in north London, Britain, July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Firefighters have brought under control the fire in a building in London’s Camden Market, the London Fire Brigade said on Monday.

The London Fire Brigade said on Twitter the “fire is now under control but crews will be damping down into the morning”.

The first, second and third floors and the roof of the building were on fire, the brigade tweeted earlier, saying more than 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines were on the scene.

The cause of the fire was unknown and there were no immediate reports of any injuries or casualties.

London’s Camden Market had an incident of fire in 2008 when market storage areas and shops in the locality were set ablaze and adjoining houses were damaged. A major part of the market had then remained closed for several months.

In June, at least 80 people died in a devastating fire in London’s 24-storey Grenfell Tower.

Prime Minister Theresa May later said that 120 other high-rise buildings had failed fire tests.

For a graphic, click here

(Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney and Amrutha Gayathri)

Britain Says 181 High-Rise Buildings Have Failed Safety Tests After London Fire

July 2, 2017

LONDON — Some 181 high-rise buildings have failed safety tests carried out after a fire that killed at least 80 people in London last month, the British government said on Sunday.

Officials are conducting tests on some 600 high-rise buildings across England after fire ravaged the Grenfell tower block in west London on June 14.

The Department for Communities said in a statement that the cladding from 181 high-rise buildings in 51 local authority areas had failed tests.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

© 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