With reporting from Ankita Menon
Hundreds of people congregated outside of one of Qatar’s iconic West Bay office buildings today after an electrical fire prompted short circuits on several floors.
Speaking to Doha News, an official from the security group managing the crowd outdoors said the 29th, 32nd and 37th floors of Al Bidda Tower had experienced problems with their power due to a short circuit.
Emergency responders were on the scene, but no one appeared to have been injured in the fire.
Some office workers, however, were taken into ambulances due to exhaustion from climbing down the stairs of the 43-story building during the evacuation, the official said.
The evacuation and presence of several emergency vehicles raised many questions from passersby, who were wondering what had happened:
— Lara (@la_khatib) February 24, 2014
— Mazen Abd Rabbo (@MAbdRabbo) February 24, 2014
— Bilal Arif Bawany (@bilal05) February 24, 2014
Around noon today, people remained outside of the building while Civil Defense conducted testing. They are expected to be allowed to return to their offices in the next hour or so.
UPDATE | 1:02pm
As a precautionary measure, Al Bidda is closed for the rest of the day. Those working there told Doha News they were allowed to go back into the building to retrieve their belongings, but were then instructed to leave.