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April 5, 2010

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Woman, 26, dies in fall from her blazing apartment

A woman was killed early yesterday morning after falling from the 22nd floor when her apartment caught fire.

Firefighters managed to rescue about 10 other people sharing the apartment in the Jingdong Community on Boshan Road, Pudong New Area police said yesterday.

Neighbors said they were woken by women screaming about 3am. "I saw about three women in the burning apartment calling for help. They were panicking," said a witness who lived opposite the block that caught fire.

One woman began crawling over the windowsill to step down on an air-conditioner unit outside, the neighbor said.

"But just when she stepped on it, she lost her balance and fell onto a platform on the second floor," the neighbor said.

The woman, who died at the scene, was said to be a 26-year-old employee of a nearby baker and not a resident of Shanghai. She and about 10 other co-workers shared the apartment, police said. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The fire was put out within half an hour, and others trapped in the apartment were rescued by firefighters.

Those living in the apartment were allegedly renting an apartment divided into several smaller rooms, which is illegal.

But police said it was unclear whether the migrant workers were collectively renting the space, because the apartment is now burnt out and damaged.

Last Wednesday, a couple from Anhui Province jumped about 10 meters down from their rented home in Shanghai's Hongkou District when it caught fire after an electrical short circuit.

Fortunately, the couple survived with broken bones.

And in November 2008, four college students died after falling off the balcony of their six-story dormitory at the Shanghai Business School while trying to escape a fire.

The blaze, caused by an electrical water-heating device, alarmed schools and institutes across the city.


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