Fire engulfs office tower in China's Changsha city
Preliminary investigations show that the outer wall of the 42-storey China Telecom building caught fire, says Hunan's fire department.
BEIJING: A massive fire engulfed a high-rise office building in downtown Changsha, capital of China's southern province of Hunan, on Friday afternoon (Sep 16).
The blaze broke out in the 42-storey China Telecom building. "Thick smoke billowed from the site, and dozens of floors burned ferociously," state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The fire has been put out, and no casualties have been found, according to Hunan's fire department.
It added that 36 fire trucks and 280 firefighters were deployed to the scene.
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.
A later image shared on social media appeared to show that the flames had subsided, as emergency personnel sprayed jets of water onto its charred facade.
China Telecom said in a statement on social media: "By around 4.30pm 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."
Preliminary investigations showed that the outer wall of the building caught fire, said Hunan's fire department. "At present, the open fire has been extinguished, and no casualties have been found," it added.
Changsha has a population of about 10 million people.
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.
The 218m building was completed in 2000 and is located near a major ring road, according to CCTV.