[Monday, 10pm] People are currently aTwitter with news that that Beijing’s CCTV headquarters has gone up in flames, and from the following pictures snapped and uploaded by various eyewitnesses (including some amazing on-the-scene photos by real estate tycoon and CEO of Soho China Pan Shiyi), the fire looks pretty damn bad and appears to have engulfed the part of the complex that houses the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Beijing. Given that today is Yuanxiao Jie (元宵节) which marks the culmination of the Lunar New Year festivities, it is not unlikely that stray fireworks were the cause of this disaster. Follow what the China Twitterati is saying at #cctvfire. Videoclips after the jump.
From the mainstream media:
Reuters: Fire claims building at CCTV Beijing headquarters
Xinhua: Hotel adjacent to Beijing’s new CCTV headquarters on fire
AFP: Blaze erupts near cutting-edge Beijing tower
CNN: Fire engulfs 40-story luxury hotel
Updates from Twitterers in Beijing:
@wjs2634: 消防车很快就到了,但是根本过不去,接近不了,马路上全是车,看来需要汲取的教训很多,最好在消防车到达之前,交通指挥疏导车应该先到 [The fire trucks were there very fast, but unfortunately had no way of passing through. The road was jam-packed with cars. Looks like we’ll have a lot to learn from this. The traffic police should have arrived before the fire trucks to divert traffic.] — 10.00pm
@doubleaf: 由于#cctv大火，地铁十号线全部封站（中央人民广播电台直播）[Because of the CCTV fire, the entire subway line 10 has been shut down, according to the China National Radio]
@mranti: 火基本控制，从外面看熄灭了。[The fire looks like it’s now under control] –10.50pm
@mranti: 底层的火又重新燃烧起来！[The ground floor looks like it’s burning up again!] — 10.57pm
@niubi: wonder if cctv head will have 2 resign over this, assuming it was their fireworks. fireworks supervisor will def b arrested
@niubi: fireworks were NOT being lanched off of top of CCTV buildings. they looked 2 b coming from w side of CCTV complex. very pro, very high
@thijsjacob I heard from CCTV honcho; that people responsible were reluctant to call in fire dept. Director-level and up informed by SMS.
@mranti: 最早的目击者告诉我：是从顶上几层开始的，八点二十左右，迅速从上自下蔓延 [Earliest eye-witnesses tell me that the fire first broke out from top few levels around 8.20pm and rapidly spread downwards]
@doubleaf: 我现在担心的是，央视北配楼可能会塌。[I’m now worried that the CCTV north annex may collapse]
@fuzheado: Cripes … BBC says building will collapse.
@fuzheado: Not surprised the building is projected to collapse, very reminiscent of World Trade Center burning
@fuzheado: Folks near site: get away now, don’t chance being around when place collapses, debris, steel — 11.33pm
@DavidFeng: Word has it that the building is close to explosion. Whole thing pretty much toast, all in all. — 00.09am
@iheartbeijing: policemen around scene were predicting collapse, undoubtedly they will have to implode building if it doesn’t happen on own — 00.10am
@mranti: 有救护车再度轰鸣开走，显然再有伤者。内部的朋友证实有人被戴上呼吸机送上车。南侧开来了更高的云梯车。[Some ambulances leaving with sirens wailing. Apparently there are casualties. Insider friends tell me some were put on respirator and sent away in ambulance. From the south, a few more fire engine crane trucks have arrived] — 00.50am
@mranti: 朝阳环卫在不停运水。新云梯上尚未喷出水来。 [Chaoyang Sanitation still transporting water. No water coming out from new fire engine crane trucks yet.]–00.51am
@mranti: 南侧的火已经被新云梯扑灭。但北部顶层的火尚有残余。水龙的高度是今天最重大的问题。[Fire on the south side has been extinguished by new fire engine crane trucks. Still some residual fire on the north. Height of the taps the biggest problem for now.] –01.08am
@ganglu sina.com has just romoved #cctvfire news from its news portal page, sign. — 01.26am
@jzcatrandom: Reading Chinese BBS threads re #cctvfire http://bit.ly/tWAI b4 they get harmonized — 01.32am
Note: The below clip shows the first moments after the fire broke out.