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Bystanders watch as Bahrain's Civil Defense firefighters douse a burning apartment building in Juffair Tuesday morning, Aug. 27, 2013. The building is located yards from the Naval Support Activity fence line.

Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes

Bystanders watch as Bahrain's Civil Defense firefighters douse a burning apartment building in Juffair Tuesday morning, Aug. 27, 2013. The building is located yards from the Naval Support Activity fence line. Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes ()

Bystanders watch as Bahrain's Civil Defense firefighters douse a burning apartment building in Juffair Tuesday morning, Aug. 27, 2013. The building is located yards from the Naval Support Activity fence line.

Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes

Bystanders watch as Bahrain's Civil Defense firefighters douse a burning apartment building in Juffair Tuesday morning, Aug. 27, 2013. The building is located yards from the Naval Support Activity fence line. Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes ()

A fire burning an apartment building under construction in Juffair, Bahrain, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, can be seen from Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Navy officials asked personnel to avoid the surrounding area and to minimize outside activity because of plumes of ash and smoke coming toward the base. 

Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes

A fire burning an apartment building under construction in Juffair, Bahrain, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, can be seen from Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Navy officials asked personnel to avoid the surrounding area and to minimize outside activity because of plumes of ash and smoke coming toward the base. Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes ()

A fire burning an apartment building under construction in Juffair, Bahrain, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, can be seen from Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Navy officials asked personnel to avoid the surrounding area and to minimize outside activity because of plumes of ash and smoke coming toward the base. 

Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes

A fire burning an apartment building under construction in Juffair, Bahrain, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, can be seen from Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Navy officials asked personnel to avoid the surrounding area and to minimize outside activity because of plumes of ash and smoke coming toward the base. Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes ()

MANAMA, Bahrain — Plumes of smoke and ash from a fire in an apartment building under construction wafted over the U.S. naval base in Bahrain Tuesday, prompting officials to caution personnel to minimize outdoor activity.

Still, the flames shooting from the approximately 10-story building drew crowds of onlookers both on and off base.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Messier, expressing concern for the workers in the building.

Base fire and emergency services provided a water tanker to support Bahrain’s Civil Defense firefighters.

Preliminary information indicated welding may have caused the fire according to Bahrain’s Interior Ministry. Three Bahraini policemen were injured and taken to the hospital, according to the ministry.

Officials urged people to avoid the area fearing the building and construction crane could collapse.

simoes.hendrick@stripes.comTwitter: @hendricksimoes


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