Blaze at tallest building

By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-15 07:11

SHANGHAI: A fire broke out yesterday at China's tallest building which is still under construction in the city's Pudong New Area.

The fire, at the northern side of the 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center, was allegedly caused by welding work which ignited debris in an elevator.

No injuries were reported.

"The smoke was so dense I couldn't open my eyes," said a worker, who was stranded on the 76th floor for more than an hour.

"The staircase was full of smoke and the power was cut off," the worker said.

He said all of his colleagues escaped by using the construction elevators or were rescued by firemen.

According to witnesses, the fire started at about 4:30 pm on the 48th or 47th floor and was put out two hours later.

Sparks could be seen emitting from the building which was engulfed in smoke. Two witnesses said they heard an explosion, and shards of glass fell from a sight-seeing elevator.

Workers said they were asked to help put out the fire from inside the building.

"There was no water supply on 70th floor, but there were two water tanks on the 88th floor. We are told to pour water down the stairwell which was smoke-logged," another worker said.

The new skyscraper will contain offices, hotels, and shopping malls. It is being developed by the Mori Building Corporation of Japan and is due for completion early next year.

(China Daily 08/15/2007 page3)

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