A 63-story luxury hotel went up in flames on Dec. 31 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, while a fireworks show took place nearby at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper (video below).
The fire in the Address Downtown hotel included explosions and black smoke, notes The Associated Press.
The Dubai Media Office tweeted, "14 minor injuries,1 moderate&1 heart attack case reported due 2 over-crowding&smoke at the fire site,all received prompts medical assistance."
The five-star hotel, which contains 626 luxury apartments and 196 hotel rooms, is believed to have been filled to capacity because of its great view of the Burj Khalifa and the fireworks.
The blaze reportedly started on a 20th floor terrace, although other accounts have the fire starting on the ground floor.
The fire began at around 9:30 p.m., about two-and-a-half hours before the fireworks show, and was still going four hours later.
An AFP photographer said "it began in the middle of the hotel, then went down like lightning before shooting up again."
"People in the vicinity began to run in panic to get away from the area," the photographer added.
An unidentified witness said that New Year's Eve event promoters and security "started panicking and were screaming and ushering people" into the nearby Dubai Mall.
"Half an hour later, they told us to get out of the mall because they were closing it down," the witness added. "There were a lot of screams ... There were a lot of people who fainted and there were many ambulances."
"Until the fire is put out, we will not have information on what caused it," Dubai's police chief, General Khamis Matar al-Mzeima, stated.