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Shanghai's first fire helicopter to serve in 2014

Updated: 2013-11-08 20:03
( Xinhua)

SHANGHAI - Shanghai's first professional fire helicopter will come into service in mid 2014, announced fire authorities on Friday.

The Russian-made Ka-32 civilian helicopter is under its final assembly and commissioning. It will be delivered to the metropolis in January next year, said Zhao Zixin, chief of the Shanghai Fire Department.

At that point, Shanghai will set up an air fire crew to conduct emergency rescue and firefighting missions concerning tall buildings, high-speed rail and viaducts, he explained.

Seven pilots and three mechanics are receiving training in Russia. And another 20 aircrew members are currently going through simulator training and study in Shanghai.

Shanghai has over 14,000 high-rise buildings over 24 meters, including 400 building over 100 meters. High-rise fires are the biggest big headache for the metropolis.

A fatal blaze in November 2010 gutted a 28-story under-renovation apartment building in Shanghai's Jing'an District. The fire killed 58 people.

With a loading capacity of five tonnes, the Ka-32 helicopter can be installed with 15 seats. It is able to conduct missions in extreme weather conditions such as high wind and cold weather.

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