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Massive fire breaks out at skyscraper in Changsha, China

A massive fire broke out in a skyscraper in the central Chinese city of Changsha in the southern province of Hunan on Friday. The fire has been put out, but casualty numbers are not known yet, the state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Fire has broken out in a multi-storey building in Changsha, China. Several floors were caught in the grip of the massive fire. According to the information, this building belonged to a Telecom company. The trapped people have been evacuated safely.

“Firefighters have begun work to extinguish the flames and conduct rescues at the scene,” the report further noted, adding that the blaze consumed a tall building that housed an office of state-owned telecommunications company China Telecom.

The blaze broke out in a 42-floor building housing an office of state-owned telecommunications company China Telecom, according to state broadcaster CCTV.”Thick smoke billowed from the site, and dozens of floors burned ferociously,” CCTV reported.

The provincial fire department said later in a social media post that “at present, the fire has been extinguished, and we have not yet discovered any casualties”.

An initial photograph released by CCTV showed orange flames searing through the building in a built-up area of the city as black smoke billowed into the sky. China Telecom said in a statement on social media: “By around 4:30 pm today, the fire at our No. 2 Communications Tower in Changsha has been extinguished.

“No casualties have yet been discovered and communications have not been cut off”. A video shared on social media appeared to show dozens of people fleeing the building as flaming debris fell from the upper floors.

AFP was not immediately able to verify the footage. Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, has a population of about 10 million people. The 218-meter (715-foot) building was completed in 2000 and is located near a major ring road, according to CCTV.

Deadly fires are common in China, where lax enforcement of building codes and rampant unauthorized construction can make it difficult for people to flee burning buildings. In July last year, a warehouse fire in northeastern 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 a pair of blazes in Beijing’s migrant neighborhoods in 2017, while 58 perished when a huge fire swept through a 28-story Shanghai housing block in 2010.

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