(Edited by Key)
Fire broke out at a 28 story apartment building in Shanghai at 2:00 in the afternoon, Nov15 (local time) causing at least 49 deaths. The building was located at Jing An district and was under renovation. According to Xinhua’s report, over 100 were rescued out of the building of 156 households so far.
Well-known Chinese youth opinion leader Han Han happened to be at the scene and he had recorded what happened the whole time.
14:14 pm, smoke rose, the part enclosed by scaffolding became the beginning of the disaster, people who did not look carefully would have thought it’s a fire on the construction site.
14;18, the roof caught on fire, but soon disappeared
No visible fire in the next few minutes, only black smoke
14;25, suddenly the scaffolding and some construction material at the north side started to burn, and spreading in the southwest wind.
14;38, the fire spread to the scaffolding on the west side of the building, made a lot of explosion noises, the building was completely lit up.
14:45, moving towards construction materials at the south, black smoke surrounded the visible fire.
15:27, the fire danger zone was expanded, firemen rescued dozens of people out of the building and dragged them into the ambulance one after another, but the equipment to fight the fire on high-rise buildings still have not arrived.
Ten minutes ago, 15:15, the entire building was on fire, but couple places without the scaffolding have not been burned.
At the same time the fire was stronger, covering the entire building. There were still people coming out of the building, not sure if they escaped on their own or rescued by the firefighters. The fire continued to spread to the top of the building, it had been over an hour already, but the water hose only reached up to 7th floor, had no impact on the fire in the middle and higher floors of the building. However some news media already reported that the fire was under control.
15:31, after one hour and 15 minutes, there was only one water hose. Until 16:20, there was only one water hose in this direction.
16:29, finally there were three water hoses firing at the top of the building. Two water hoses were also set up on top of adjacent building. However it was too late to prevent the fire from spreading.
Last photo ,it was getting dark, ISO was automatically adjusted so the image was not so clear. The rooms on the top floor were burned through, until I left all the things that could be burned were burned. Fire was really under control. Firefighters and rescuers worked very hard, but the deployment of high-rise fire fighting equipment was too slow. May the deceased rest in peace, the living learn more survival skills to keep in this world.
There were two factors that contributed to the severe consequence. First, the building was cover by scaffolding and light plastic webs which catch on fire very easily. The fire started at the roof and if there were no plastic webs around it, it would not spread to the entire building this fast. Second, the equipment came too slow. The hoses used in the beginning could not reach higher levels of the building. Story above 7th were burning out of control for an hour before only one higher-reaching hose came. Two more came another hour later but it was too late to make a difference.
The host of the 2010 World Expo is a densely populated city with skyscrapers rising everywhere. But apparently the fire department has not kept up with the pace of the city. The injured would be treated, the victims’ family would receive compensation, officials would send their “extreme condolences”, the brave fire fighters and devoting officials would be highly praised on CCTV, and the similar duster would continue to happen.