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Luxury Skyscraper Burns in Dubai

People run away as a fire engulfs The Address Hotel in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates December 31, 2015. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
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Authorities say everyone has been evacuated from a luxury hotel in Dubai that was still burning early Friday.

The city’s police chief says all residents were out of the 63-story hotel, known as "The Address."

The hotel had been packed with people celebrating New Year’s Eve when fire broke out at about 9:30 p.m., (about 1730 UTC). At least 14 people were injured.

The hotel stands across from the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is more than 800 meters tall. It is the center of spectacular fireworks along the Dubai waterfront for New Year's. Fireworks went on as planned.

Flames quickly moved through more than 20 stories of the hotel. It could be seen for kilometers in all directions.

Within 30 minutes, flames raced to the top of the hotel tower, and the sky was full of thick black smoke. Burning pieces of the hotel fell to the ground from the tower.

Witnesses said tens of thousands of people were crowded into the downtown area near the blazing hotel and the Burj Khalifa.

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates said earlier Thursday that thousands of security personnel were on duty because of the New Year's events.

I'm Kathleen Struck.

VOA News correspondent Margaret Besheer reported this story from Dubai. Kathleen Struck adapted it for VOA Learning English.

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Words in This Story

authorities -- n. people in charge

evacuated -- v. removed from a place, usually for safety reasons

celebrating -- v. having a party or event to mark an occasion

skyscraper -- n. super tall building that reaches to the sky

spectacular -- adj. the best, the biggest, the most impressive