On the afternoon of September 16, a terrible fire destroyed skyscraper in the center of Changsha – the capital of Hunan province, where the office of the state telecommunications company China Telecom was located. Dozens of floors were engulfed in flames, looking like a giant torch. The scene was full of black smoke billowing into the sky. Several witnesses described the fire to The Epoch Time, “like a scene from a movie, it’s scary.” No casualties have been reported.
Hunan Telecom reported that at around 3:30 p.m. on September 16, a fire broke out in the outer wall of the building. The fire has been extinguished and an investigation is ongoing.
The video shows the entire China Telecom building engulfed in flames. The terrible fire consumed the skyscraper. The facade of the building was burned black. A number of explosions were heard. In just a short time, several dozen floors were on fire.
According to South China Morning Post, by 5 p.m. the fire had been extinguished, search and rescue efforts were on going.
At 5 p.m, Li, the owner of the community near the Telecom Building, told The Epoch Times: “I live a 10-minute walk from the Telecom Building. All I see was the billowing thick black smoke. I hope there were no casualties. When the fire broke out, we heard several loud explosions.”
A lady by the name of Li said that she also heard the sound of ambulances and fire trucks. There were many firefighters at the scene, and she still hears the sound of vehicles to this day. “When I went to pick up an express delivery, I didn’t see the fire. Then the fire was very big, it only took 10 minutes to burn out, burned very quickly.”
She added that it in the middle of the afternoon, there were probably quite a few people inside. It is not known if everyone in the building got out safely.
People nearby: Scary fire like in the movies
At 5 pm, a female resident opposite the Telecom Building, told The Epoch Times, “At the beginning of the fire, I didn’t see it. At about 4 pm, I saw the fire just like in the scene from a movie. It was terrifying. The fireball hung upstairs on the street. Later, I saw the fireball fall, and the whole road was full of fire. Besides the telecommunications staff in the building, there were also thousands of people from other companies.”
A resident living next to the Telecom Building, by the name of Zhao, who witnessed the building on fire, also told The Epoch Times, “I live right next to the building, about 200 meters away. Now everything is blocked off, and the area around for about 2km is under martial law. We all ran out. They said it was because of the billboard, at that time there was a strong southerly wind, the fire suddenly flared up.”
Zhao added, “The fire spread to the top of the building in just ten minutes, and the fire suddenly broke out due to the wind. As soon as the fire started, billboards and other plastic things caught fire and fell. It’s scary, the building was on fire outside, and the people inside did not know if they could escape, the specific situation is unknown, everything was blocked.”
Zhao said that the provincial government leaders are here. The fire was a major event, and the whole country knew about it. the person in charge of the advertising agency was responsible.
Another local told The Epoch Times that some telecommunications and mobile phone signals may have been affected and calls could not be made. Reporters called mobile and landline numbers of residents around the building, but some failed to connect.
Locals posted information, “Changsha Telecom Building is on fire. The fire is huge! The smoke is huge!”
“The whole building burned down, it was terrible!”
“It only took 10 minutes to burn out, I heard people couldn’t run… Because there were countless explosions inside.”
Luo Haodong, who was in the building, posted, “I ran down from the 34th floor and almost lost my life. At first I didn’t feel the fire but the whole building was on fire in a few minutes.”
The China Telecom building standing 218 meters high, was built in 2000, with 42 floors and 2 basements. This is the first building in Changsha to exceed 200 meters high.