Residents and visitors to Dubai send us their views.
This is a horrific accident, but we are not surprised. Deaths generally go unreported on these building sites, it is only when they cannot be hidden that we hear about it. We see these guys packed into old and unsafe buses, we see them working in temps of 40 degrees plus, we see them working 12 hr days and when they do get paid, they get less than 100 pounds a month. All these guys want to do is make money to support their families back home. You see so many of them with blank faces and think things could not be worse for them, then something like this happens.
Rebecca Sabir, Dubai, UAE
This tower stands directly across the Sheikh Zayed Road from my apartment in Dubai Marina and even though there's been no smoke for well over three hours, I can still see ambulances travelling to and from the scene. At one point I counted up to twelve men trapped on the roof and tens more clinging onto the windows frames. There has been speculation about people falling or jumping and whilst this has yet to be confirmed officially, it would not be a surprise given the amount of smoke that was coming out of the tower.
Jonathan , Dubai, UAE
I saw the fire myself. it was horrible. I have seen many fires.. this was the worst. The fire was around the 20th floor and there were workers above that floor.
Zoheb Siddiqui, Dubai, UAE
Dozens of construction workers were trapped in burning building
Having just returned from Dubai weeks ago, I was appalled by what I've read and what I saw first-hand of how foreign workers are treated in Dubai. Dubai has unquestionably become a beautiful place, but scratch below the surface and you'll find rampant inequality, mistreatment of foreign workers, and oftentimes naked racism. As a Wall Street professional myself, and of South Asian ethnic origin, I was offered a job in Dubai some years ago and declined due in large part to my discomfort with the way in which South Asian workers are treated there in what purports to be a 'first world' destination.
Tariq F, New York, NY
This kind of major incident has literally been waiting to happen owing to the speed at which the major construction firms want to get things done over here. Workers are drafted in in their thousands, kept in sub standard living and working conditions, worked for extremely long hours and then rewarded with wages that amount to £75 a month. It really is time something was done to help these people who are being hugely exploited in the name of greed.
Robert Ferew, Dubai
As a Dubai resident this tragedy in the making comes as no great surprise. The H & S safety standards in Dubai are almost non existent. They tend to introduce laws regarding safety after an accident has occurred. No doubt some poor workers will blamed for it all and put in prison after another sham trial like the Oasis Shopping Centre debacle.
Stephen Moss, Dubai, UAE
I live in Jumeriah islands and I first saw the smoke from the fire at lunchtime collecting my children from school which is 15 minutes away. The acrid smell really hit us when we got home. The children were saying look at the people on the roof. It was horrible to see these people just stuck as the helicopters circled around them and this thick smoke billowing upwards. We all feel very upset for the poor workers trapped.
nicole shipley, dubai
This has been inevitable. For a country with no building regulations, using cheap imported and mistreated labour to build so many high rise buildings is clearly dangerous. Only yesterday was it announced that the new Burj Dubai tower has reached 100 stories, and they plan to make it twice as tall yet. Anonymous, because one needs to be wary giving criticism out here.
The sickening 'rubbernecking' mentality here had numerous cars stopping in the middle of the road and even the hard shoulder to take pictures, or just mill around and stare. Needless to say, this slowed the emergency services getting through. Disgusting. I just hope all the workers get out safely.
A. Pace, Dubai, UAE
I was on my way to lunch, when I noticed massive clouds of black smoke bellowing from the top of one of the new high rise buildings next to the Jumeirah Islands. There were two helicopters circling over the tower, obviously trying to assess the situation. However, it didn't seem to have spread beyond the 2nd to last floor of the building. Within 45 or so minutes, the smoke rising form the building seemed to subside.
Mishaal, Dubai, U.A.E