Two young firefighters were killed in Shanghai’s Xuhui district yesterday after a blast blew them out of a 13th floor window while they were controlling a blaze from inside the building. In their final moments, the two firefighters were seen holding on to eachother mid-air before landing on a platform below.
Qian Lingyun, 23, and Liu Jie, 20, were rushed to the hospital after they were thrown out of the window and onto a platform of the second floor of the building located on Longwu Road, according to Shanghai Daily. The two later died from their injuries.
One more firefighter was injured in the blaze, which had broken out on the 13th floor around 2:00 p.m. It’s believed that no one was inside of the apartment at the time.
The cause of the fire inside the apartment is unknown, but firefighters said there were a number of electrical items plugged into sockets and a lot of electric wiring in the three rooms. Local residents also said that several groups of tenants were squeezed inside the apartment.
Residents nearby described seeing black smoke curling from the apartment windows. They said Qian and Liu were holding on to each other as they were thrown from the window.
One witness told the Daily that the men’s colleagues were in tears after the incident. The two had joined the fire service in 2012 and served with the Xuhui district bureau.
In February, two young firefighters in Shanghai’s Baoshan district were killed when a warehouse suddenly collapsed on them as they were controlling the flames from within, and in an another heartbreaking case out of Beijing last year, two firefighters died while containing a shopping mall blaze and were found in the rubble “holding each other in close embrace“.