No deaths have been reported in a blaze that engulfed a 42-story office tower in southern China Friday.
Scores of videos on social media show copious amounts of black smoking rising from the fire in downtown Changsha, a city with a population of about 10 million that is also the capital of Hunan Province.
Newsweek reported that “large items and bits of debris were seen falling” from the building Friday. It identified the building as the “715-foot-tall China Telecom” building and said the city had sent an “army of 280 firefighters, who were able to extinguish the blaze quickly.”
The Daily Mail quoted a statement from the state-owned telecommunications company: By around 4:30 p.m. today, the fire at our No. 2 Communications Tower in Changsha has been extinguished.” The article noted that no deaths or injured had been reported and that “there was no disruption to mobile phone services, but social media users complained of being unable to use their phones.”
Such fires are not uncommon in China, according to The Daily Mail, which said ”lax enforcement of building codes and rampant unauthorized construction make it difficult for people to flee burning buildings.”
The BBC in June reported on a massive blaze in a Shanghai chemical plant. That fire killed at least one individual.
According to the South China Morning Post, the telecom building that burned in Changsha was built in 2000 and was once the tallest building in the city.