Fire engulfs Beijing hotel, six firefighters injured
A huge blaze sparked by fireworks engulfed a hotel on Monday night in the unfinished headquarters of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, one of the icons of Beijing's architectural rebirth, state media said.world Updated: Feb 10, 2009 09:03 IST
A huge blaze sparked by fireworks engulfed a hotel on Monday night in the unfinished headquarters of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, one of the icons of Beijing's architectural rebirth, state media said.
The blaze consumed the Mandarin Oriental Hotel due to open later this year within the complex housing the future headquarters of China Central Television, the country's state television broadcaster, Xinhua news agency said.
The unfinished hotel was just a few hundred metres (yards) from the showpiece 234-metre CCTV tower designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
CCTV reported that the fire was brought under control by fire crews nearly four hours after it erupted.
Six firefighters and a CCTV worker were injured and admitted to hospital, Xinhua reported, adding that none of their lives were in danger.
The official news agency quoted a city government spokesman as saying initial reports indicated firecrackers set off to celebrate the Lunar New Year, China's most important annual festival, has caused the fire.
Firefighters found remnants of firecrackers on the roof of the burning building, Xinhua said. The agency had earlier quoted a witness saying the blaze appeared to have been sparked after fireworks landed on top of the hotel building.
The fire sent flames, billowing clouds of sparks and a huge column of smoke high into the night sky over the eastern portion of the Chinese capital, drawing thousands of picture-snapping spectators.