Alesayi Plaza tower collapses in 20-hour blaze
Retail hub sees one of two towers razed to ground in Jeddah disaster
One of two towers at the Alesayi Plaza in Jeddah collapsed last night as emergency services eventually overcame a 20-hour blaze that ripped through the building and destroyed its contents.
Six people were reported to have been injured and two taken to hospital with breathing difficulties, Arab News reported late on Sunday as the blaze continued. The second building is also on the verge of collapse, according to the civil defense spokesman Capt. Abdullah Al-Amri.
“Investigations into the causes of the fire will start after the building is inspected to make sure it is safe for inspectors to go inside. We suspect that the second building, which contains four floors, will collapse at any time. The investigation is delayed because it is very risky to go inside,” Al-Amri tiold the paper.
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Alesayi Plaza is a six-storey tower in the centre of the city that serves as the headquarters of electronics giant Panasonic along with 60 other companies, including Moulinex, Rowenta and SEEB.
A 40-year old steel structure, it is owned by the Alesayi Group, a family-owned business conglomerate with holdings across investment, real estate and property development, engineering, services and manufacture among others.
By Saturday evening flames had engulfed the building, and one of its towers was razed to the ground a day later.
Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, an Alesayi Group spokesperson, said the losses from the fire ran into the hundreds of millions of riyals.