42 killed in Shanghai high-rise blaze

Monday, November 15, 2010

SHANGHAI - At least 42 people were killed when a fire broke out in a 28-storey building in downtown Shanghai Monday, Xinhua reported.

The blaze was later brought under control, the Shanghai municipal authority said in a statement.

The high-rise building that houses 156 families at the intersection of Jiaozhou and Yuyao roads was being renovated when it caught fire around 2 p.m.

More than 100 residents were rescued from the building in Jing’an district and over 90 people were taken to hospitals.

The residents said the building, built in the 1990s, housed mainly school teachers, most of whom were retired.

The flames engulfed the upper part of the building and firefighters had to fight it out from the top of a nearby building. The blaze was later brought under control.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. A witness said he saw construction materials burning before the fire hit the scaffolding and quickly spread.

At least three helicopters and 61 fire-engines were dispatched to the scene. The choppers were pressed into service to rescue the residents from the roof, but the efforts were hampered by the thick smoke.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed