On the last day of the Chinese New Year

… a fire at one of the key buildings (under construction) on the CCTV (China Central Television) campus to burn. News reports have been limited, and CCTV says they are sorry for using fireworks in the area even though they were told not to by fire inspectors.

I have yet to see any articles which answer some basic questions about the fire:

  1. The outside is burnt to a crisp, but what about inside the building?  I haven’t see information about damage to the interior. The news reports say the structure was not damaged and that the exterior suffered significant damage.
  2. How can a fire engulf an entire 34 storey skyscraper in 20 minutes? I was under the impression that a skyscraper wouldn’t have so much flammable material. Furthermore, fire codes would have prevented the installation of flammable materials that could lead to such a disaster. I can’t help but think of the World Trade Center collapse in New York. The airplane hits led to localised fire, but those burning did not not cause the entire structure to go up in flames.
  3. With the economy being bad and a 5 star hotel in this particular building, is it really certain this was not a very poorly planned arson to collect insurance money?
  4. What will happen with the structure now that it has burned?

At the end of the Chinese New Year period, I can only think Taiwan has the better tradition: setting lanterns off with wishes to float away.

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