Massive Flames Engulf 42-Story Skyscraper in Changsha, China

A 42-story skyscraper in the central Chinese city of Changsha has been engulfed by a massive fire.

According to the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, after the fire broke out, dozens of floors were burning fiercely.

Images shared on social networks showed the building on fire while long columns of thick smoke rose into the sky.

Workers rushed to evacuate the skyscraper, which serves as a regional office for China Telecom. No casualties have yet been reported, Chinese authorities said later on Friday.

Videos shared online also showed firefighters launching streams of water at the building’s blackened facade while one side appeared to be completely engulfed in flames.

Burning debris fell from the upper floors of the 218-meter-tall structure. Later images showed that the orange flames scorching the building had subsided as firefighters continued to spray streams of water onto the skyscraper’s charred side.

However, emergency personnel managed to extinguish the flames around 4:30 p.m. local time.

“At present, the fire has been extinguished, and we have not yet discovered any casualties,” the Hunan Provincial Fire Department said.

The building was completed two decades ago and is located near a major ring road in the 10-million person city of Changsha, south-central China’s Hunan province, state media reported.

The state-owned telecommunications company China Telecom confirmed the incident and said the fire was now under control. However, the cause of the fire has not been confirmed.

“By about 4:30 p.m. today, the fire at our No 2 Communications Tower in Changsha has been extinguished,” a China Telecom spokesperson said.

“No casualties have yet been discovered and communications have not been cut off,” the spokesperson added.

Deadly fires are common in China, where 15 people were killed and at least 25 injured during a warehouse fire in the northeastern province of Jilin in July 2021.

A month earlier, another fire killed 18 people, including children, after a martial arts school in the central province of Henan was engulfed in flames.

Fires in Beijing’s migrant neighborhoods also killed another two dozen people in 2017, while a fire in a 28-story housing block in Shanghai left 58 victims in 2010.