On a night when bright lights and fireworks are the usual attraction, a massive fire at a hotel in Dubai ended up capturing much of the world’s attention on New Year’s Eve.
Shot by Ukrainian photographer Kirill Neiezhmakov, the video shows both the speed and the power of the fire which nearly consumed the The Address Hotel near Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa tower.
“[On] New Year’s night I planned to shoot fireworks with my friends from one building,” Neiezhmakov told Global News.
“We set up our cameras and [were] waiting for fireworks, but [a] few hours before I notice some smoke. I thought that was smoke from some fireworks which starts before [the] main fireworks, but it was smoke from the hotel!”
Officials told the Associated Press they believed the fire began on the 20th storey of the hotel but spread quickly, engulfing one of the building’s sides in a matter of minutes.
The time-lapse footage shows both the fire’s speed and its dangerous side effects, as firefighters dealt with a veritable rain of burning debris falling off the building’s side.
“The main part of this fire [lasted] about two to three hours, but maybe 20 minutes before New Year the fire began to decline,” Neiezhmakov said. “I thought that they cancelled fireworks, but all was according to plan and we saw the fireworks on Burj Khalifa. I think all people around [the] Burj Khalifa [were] shocked by this fire.”
On Twitter, Dubai officials confirmed there were 14 minor injuries due to the fire, as well as one moderate injury. Another person suffered a heart attack due to “over crowding and smoke at the fire site.”
Emaar Properties said Sunday that a team of consultants is already working to repair the damage to the 63-storey tower. Officials also said the building was not fitted with any fireworks for the New Year’s display when it caught fire Thursday night.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.
Neiezhmakov said he was in Dubai with his wife and daughter for a month to work on time-lapse photography projects in the city.
You can check out more of Neiezhmakov’s work here.
-With files from the Associated Press
© 2016 Shaw Media