May 19, 2019

Deadly Shanghai high-rise blaze kills 42 people

Call me cynical but this doesn't look like a building with a fully functioning sprinkler system.

A fire has destroyed a high-rise apartment building in Shanghai, China, killing at least 42 people and injuring 90 others. The death toll is expected to rise.

Firefighters with over 80 fire engines battled for several hours to bring the blaze under control. Many people were trapped as fire engulfed the upper part of the building where hoses could not reach. Helicopters attempted to rescue some from the roof. Eventually firefighters rigged up hoses on top of nearby buildings to fight the flames.

The 28-storey building was undergoing renovation work at the time of the fire. Witnesses allege that construction materials caught fire and the flames quickly climbed the scaffolding surrounding the building.

For some though the sections of scaffolding that were untouched by the flames offered a means of escape.

In Shanghai building regulations are stricter and more rigorously enforced than in other parts of China, serious questions will be asked by officials about the work being done and how the fire managed to spread so quickly.

This kind of tragedy highlights that while China is a first world economic super power it has a long way to go before it’s building codes can be called industry best practice.

It is a shame that the safety of its citizens has been compromised in the pursuit of economic wealth. Newswarped suspects that the safety standards of the buildings that the ruling elite in China live in will be vastly superior to most of its citizens.