Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Fire pole accident ruins marketing stunt for Dubai Tower
Yesterday, the still-rising Burj Dubai Tower, in Dubai, UAE, conducted a highly unusual and dangerous marketing stunt with the world's longest fireman's pole slide.
The 1,885 ft tower--which will eventually terminate at around 2,700 ft--now the world's tallest structure, features a 1,883 ft fireman's pole that runs directly down the center of the building. The Burj pole obliterated the previously held record by more than 1800 ft.
The opening ceremony called for a UAE-trained stuntman to negotiate the 1883 feet non-stop to the building's lobby where he would be met with fireworks, candy and cake.
At the last minute, however, the stuntman was replaced with a tower construction worker for unknown reasons. The slide, expected to take 40 minutes, would make it into the book of records when completed.
After commencing, the inexperienced construction worker quickly reached a speed of 75mph creating intense frictional heat. Workers on every floor sensed trouble and began dousing the man with water as he screeched by.
The heat was too overpowering and soon set the man afire. By the 50th floor he was engulfed in flames. By the 30th floor the man had fallen victim to the heat and fire. By the 20th floor he looked like a comet. And by the time he reached the lobby he was a charred, unrecognizable carcass startling the party goers.
"We didn't know the heat would reach that level, the smell was horrific," said a sullen Jimmy Mustafa, a tower representative. "We think he passed away somewhere between the 30th and 25th floors and the poor guy just kept hanging on."
Stuntman Tommy Ali noted,"I had a feeling that would happen."