The 218-meter 42 storey China Telecom building in Changsha, the capital of the southern Hunan province, burned on Friday afternoon. Dozens of storeys “burned with great intensity”. Huge plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the sky were observed as flames appeared to erupt from almost the entire height of the building.Evacuation was prompted. A video shared on social media appeared to show dozens of people fleeing the building as flaming debris fell from the upper floors. Some 280 firefighters were sent to blaze. Emergency personnel sprayed jets of water on to its charred facade. Construction on the building was finished in 2000. It is the first building in Changsha whose height exceeded 200 meters.
In a statement released on social media, China Telecom said: “By around 4:30 p.m. 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.” However some customers’ mobile phones were affected. The building was seriously damaged. According to the staff member, the fire first started from some air conditioner external units. One side of the building looks completely burned out. China Telecom is a massive, state-owned operation employing hundreds of thousands of staff. Deadly fires are common in China.