Dubai's New Year's fireworks kick off amid hotel blaze

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A massive fireworks display kicked off for New Year’s at the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, while plumes of smoke billowed in the air from a fire raging at a nearby luxury tower.

Tens of thousands of people whistled and cheered at the show taking place at the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, as teams of fire-fighters were working to put out the blaze that had engulfed a 63-storey luxury hotel and residential building. Just minutes before the fireworks began, large explosions could be heard from inside the burning building, which was cloaked in thick black smoke. It was not clear what caused the blasts.

At least 14 people were slightly injured and one person suffered a heart attack from the smoke and overcrowding during evacuation late on Thursday, according to Dubai Media Office. The statement said another person was moderately injured, without elaborating further. No children were among those injured, it said.

Organisers had installed 400,000 LED lights on the Burj Khalifa and used some 1.6 tonnes of fireworks for the seven-minute extravaganza.

The fire engulfed the Address Downtown, one of the most upscale hotels and residences in Dubai, which was likely to have been packed with people because of its clear view of the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai’s Media Office tweeted that four teams of fire-fighters were working to put out the blaze. They said the fire appears to have originated on a 20th floor terrace.

The fire broke out about two hours before the midnight fireworks display was set to begin. To manage the crowds, Dubai police had closed off some roads and the metro before the fire broke out.

Nearly an hour after the fire began, some onlookers began to leave while others stood, pressed against crowd barricades, watching the blaze. Among them was Chris Browne, a tourist from London, who watched with her husband, Stephen, standing behind her. They said they hoped no one was injured.

“It’s pretty scary stuff,” she said.

Keywords: Dubai hotel fireBurj Khalifa

Courtesy : The Hindu

General Knowledge

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A UK-based website set up to chart the last days of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has released a new set of documents to dismiss claims that he may have been spotted in China years after his death in a plane crash.

The website - www.bosefiles.info - has reproduced a telegram from the Indian Embassy in Beijing contradicting claims in India about the nationalist leader being in the Chinese capital in 1952.

Bose was reported dead as a result of a plane crash in Taiwan in 1945. But in 1955, S M Goswami, an ardent admirer of Bose, published a pamphlet in India with the heading 'Netaji Mystery Revealed'. It carried a picture of Chinese officials with a Mongolian trade delegation said to have been taken in 1952. Goswami pointed out one of the persons in the photograph to be Bose.

Appearing as a witness before the 1956 Netaji Inquiry Committee he presented the photo as evidence of Bose being alive, contrary to reports of his death in 1945.

The committee sent the exhibit to the Indian Embassy in Beijing for identification. The diplomatic mission forwarded it to the Chinese foreign ministry.

Following a response from the Chinese foreign ministry, the embassy cabled India's ministry of external affairs: "Concerning alleged photograph of SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE: We showed this to Foreign Office who have informed us that the photograph is of LEE KE HUNG, Medical Superindendent of PUMC (Peking University Medical College)".

"The telegram exposes one of countless attempts over 70 years to spread disinformation about Subhas Bose," says Ashis Ray, a London-based journalist who has set up the website to "release documentary evidence which reinforces what happened to Bose, so that people are able to judge for themselves the truth".

On December 7, bosefiles.info exposed claims about Bose having escaped to the Soviet Union in 1945.

It posted two diplomatic notes from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent in 1992 and 1995 respectively and a public statement by the then Russian Ambassador in India in 1996, which unanimously confirmed there was no information in the Soviet or KGB archives about Bose entering the Soviet Union in or after 1945.

 

 

London, Jan 2, 2016, PTI

Courtesy  :  Deccan Herald

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India has called for united action against extremist and radicalized organisations operating in northern Iraq and Syria in order to stop the "dangerous trends" endangering peace and stability in the Middle East and Gulf regions.

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