The fire broke out around 3.15pm, according to the civil defence. Image Credit: Dennis B. Mallari/Gulf News

Dubai:  A worker died as he jumped from the fifth floor of a building that caught fire on Saturday near the junction of Mohammad Bin Zayed Road and Al Khail Road in Dubai.

The fire broke out around 3.15pm, according to the civil defence.

Dubai Police and Civil Defence officials evacuated the tower and rescued about 300 workers trapped in the building that was nearing completion.

Daring escape

An eyewitness driving along Al Khail Road at 3.20pm told Gulf News he saw smoke billowing from a distance and decided to drive towards the building, which he then saw was already on fire.

“The labourers were trapped between the 20th and the 30th floor where fire was raging. Fire at that time was gutting about five floors from the 20th floor upward,” the eyewitness said, describing the building as more than 30 storeys high.

“One labourer decided to climb down the right-hand side of the building using an access rope like a real-life Spiderman. I feared for his life. I just prayed he wouldn’t panic so he wouldn’t lose balance. I also hoped that the rope was strong enough to hold his weight,” the eyewitness said.

He saw other workers desperate to leave the building. Others tried to escape from its four sides.

“Two workers climbed down the left-hand side of the building using the tower crane attached to it. There were those who also tried to climb down using the access rope but hesitated as fire was raging at that side of the building and strong afternoon wind was fanning the flames,” the eyewitness said.

Based on the eyewitness’ accounts, three workers made their way successfully to the ground by climbing down.