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High-rise fire kills 8, injures 50 in downtown Shanghai

AT least eight people were killed and about 50 wounded as of 5:30pm in a big blaze that engulfed a 28-storey building since 2pm this afternoon.

Firefighters were trying desperately to rescue residents trapped in the apartment high-rise located on Jiaozhou Road in the city's Jiang'an District. Billows of black smoke rising into the sky can be seen from a long distance.

Victims hang themselves out on the scaffoldings that cover the exterior of the whole building for a face-lift.

More than ten residents have rushed to the roof, waving at a helicopter that found it hard to land.
Firefighters shoot water to the building from nearby buildings.

Most of the victims receiving treatment were not burned but had inhaled too much smoke, said a hospital doctor.

Many ambulances carried doctors to the site for timely rescue. Two elder women were given rescue breaths on site at 4:30pm.

Police used tapes to cordon off the area around the building. Traffic on nearby Yuyao Road, Changde Road and Changping Road were slowed down.

Residents in nearby buildings were evacuated and power supply was cut off.

Influenced by the blaze, windows on nearby buildings became too hot to touch and Internet connection in the buildings broke down. Witnesses said widows and other objects on the gutted building kept falling down.

The building, known as Teachers Apartments, housed about 500 families. Many residents are retired teachers.

Firefighting has always troubled Shanghai, a city with about 15,000 high-rise buildings. It's hard for fire engines pump water to the top floors of a high-rise while rescue helicopters can not easily put down the ladder.


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