Fire engulfs 42-storey building in China
A massive fire sent flames and black smoke pouring Friday, 16 September 2022, from a 42-storey skyscraper in Changsha in central China belonging to the country’s largest telecoms operator but no casualties were reported. Dozens of floors burned in the China Telecom building situated in the city of Changsha, the capital of central Hunan province. At least 36 fire engines and 280 fire fighters were rushed to the 218-metre building, according to the Hunan Fire Department.
By 17h00, the blaze was controlled and extinguished but the fire fighters continued with their rescue operation. According to the state broadcaster, CCTV, thick smoke billowed from the site and dozens of floors burned ferociously.
No injuries or deaths have been reported, China Telecom said in a statement. It said there was no disruption to cell phone service but social media users complained of being unable to use their phones.
Videos of the blaze showed one side of the building scorched black, with debris falling to the ground. Other videos from local media showed workers inside managing to evacuate the building.
There was no immediate information on the cause of the blaze.
Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, has a population of about 10 million people. The 218-metre building, completed in 2000, is located near a major ring road, according to CCTV.
Deadly fires are common in China, where lax enforcement of building codes and rampant unauthorised construction can make it difficult for people to flee burning buildings.
In July last year, a warehouse fire in north-eastern Jilin province killed at least 15 people and injured at least 25, according to state media reports.
The month before that, a fire killed 18 people, mostly children, at a martial arts school in central Henan province, causing an uproar over fire safety standards.
A further two dozen people died in blazes in Beijing’s migrant neighbourhoods in 2017, while 58 perished when a fire swept through a 28-storey Shanghai housing block in 2010.
Source: The Associated Press, The Guardian, Business Standard