Huge fire engulfs 26-storey building in Shijiazhuang


Towering inferno: Fire trucks spraying jets of water to douse the flames from the office block in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. — AFPTowering inferno: Fire trucks spraying jets of water to douse the flames from the office block in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. — AFP

Beijing: A huge fire engulfed a 26-storey office block in northern China, with TV footage showing burning chunks of cladding falling off its facade, although no casualties were reported.

Authorities were investigating the cause of Tuesday’s blaze, which broke out early in the morning in Shijiazhuang city near Beijing and spread rapidly, eating into the insulation material on the outside of the tower.

The fire was brought under control and no casualties have been reported so far, China’s national fire safety authority said in a social media post.

Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed a massive plume of smoke rising from the tower while burning debris fell onto the street below.

The post was accompanied by a video that showed the aftermath of the fire, with one side of the tower almost completely blackened, while smoke continued to rise from the building.

Other videos circulated by users on Weibo appeared to show towering jets of water sprayed by fire engines onto the upper floors of the building as the fire raged. — AFP

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