‘Lightning rod, not crane crashed on hotel tower’

Podium levels of Nassima Royal Hotel Tower closed as investigation continues

by Sajila SaseendranSenior Reporter
19:32 February 7, 2017

Dubai: A large metal object that crashed onto a hotel tower on Shaikh Zayed Road during the stormy weather on Friday was not a crane but a large section of a lightning rod, Dubai Municipality said on Tuesday.

Initial reports quoting Dubai Civil Defence had said four cars were destroyed, of which two went up in flames, after a construction crane fell on Nassima Royal Hotel and on to the middle of Shaikh Zayed Road due to strong winds and unstable weather.

Redha Hassan Salman, head of Dubai Municipality’s Emergency Crisis Management Team, on Tuesday clarified that it was in fact a lightning rod that was fixed atop one of the towers of the twin tower building that crashed on to the podium level of the hotel.

“It was 53m in total length. A 40-metre-tall piece crashed down in the bad weather,” he told Gulf News on Tuesday.

“Our Accident Investigation Team comprising members from different departments had checked the entire building that day itself for any risk and had asked them to close the affected area on the podium. The hotel tower and the office tower were not impacted,” said Salman, who is also the director of the Health and Safety Department.

He said there were some shops in the affected area at the podium levels bridging the two towers which will be reopened after the repair works and inspections.

The official said an investigation into the incident will examine various engineering aspects including the verification of the building design drawings, their implementation, cross checking the details of the structure and if there was any violation of engineering and safety rules. The wind speed at the time of the incident and the structure’s expected ability to bear it would also be looked into. The investigation is likely to be completed in a week’s time.