Dubai: A fire that broke out in a building under construction near the Burj Khalifa Metro station early Saturday morning disrupted Dubai Metro services for three hours, affecting hundreds of commuters.
Fire broke out on the sixth floor of Al Hikma Tower along Shaikh Zayed Road on Saturday morning. A spokesperson from the Dubai Civil Defence said the operations control room was alerted at 5.54am. The fire was put out by 8.15am by two stations from Al Manara and Satwa.
At least one worker fell unconscious due to smoke inhalation during the blaze. He was treated on site, the spokesperson told Gulf News.
Traffic on the service road near the building was diverted during the operation. Services of the Dubai Metro Red Line from Jafiliya, Trade Centre, Emirates Towers, Financial Centre, Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall, and Business Bay Metro stations were temporarily suspended for safety precautions for three hoursleaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
Jebel Ali-bound Metro users were advised to leave the train at the Jafiliya Metro station at around 7.30am. They were asked to board the feeder buses waiting for them at the parking lot near Exit 3.
“All the passengers were advised to get down at the Jafiliya station. By that time, the station was already packed. It was very crowded — the type of crowd you’d see when you’re going to a major concert,” Jojo Dass, a media practitioner who was stranded at the station, told Gulf News.
“There was pushing and shoving because it was 8am, everyone was rushing to work. In my case, I had to call office to send someone to pick me up,” Dass said, adding that he arrived late nevertheless.
Rashidiya-bound passengers said the Metro services were suspended at the Business Bay Metro station. Mario Luiz Garcia, an IT professional, said he was late for work by one and a half hours.
“What usually takes me 30 to 45 minutes of commute to work took longer, more than two hours,” Garcia told Gulf News.
All affected Metro stations resumed services at about 10am, according to Ramadan Abdullah, director of the Rail Operations Department at the Roads and Transport Authority.
“The service was temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure as the building on fire was near the Metro station,” Abdullah told Gulf News, adding that feeder buses were deployed in the area to help transport passengers.
“The service disruption only affected a section of the Dubai Metro. All the other stations were operational,” he added.
Meanwhile, construction work on the 60-storey building that caught fire was also suspended on Saturday, an official from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCE), the main contractor of the 60-storey tower, told Gulf News.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the fire broke out at around 5.30am. The first shift of workers arrived before 6am and saw the blaze. Some workers came up to the sixth floor to check and one worker collapsed due to smoke inhalation.
“No one was injured during the fire. One worker fell unconscious but he is all right now,” the official said.
The official said fire and smoke damaged the entire sixth floor. Partial damage was seen on the fifth and seventh floor.