Fire Engulfs Beijing Hotel

  • 15 years ago
  • Uncategorized

A fire erupted in one of the newest buildings in Beijing on the last day of celebrations for the lunar New Year. The city was ablaze with fireworks as residents celebrated the Lantern Festival. The building was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and was one of the most expensive towers constructed in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was to be the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel and is adjacent to the iconic CCTV tower.

 

The building is part of China Central Television’s new headquarters complex and was to have housed the luxury hotel as well as a cultural center on the ground, next to the main CCTV tower. The hotel had not yet opened for business, and Erik Amir, an architect with Mr. Koolhaas’ firm said in a report from the Associated Press that “I think it’s really sad that this building is destroyed before it can be opened to the public.”

 

“The upper fifth is on fire, multiple floors. Debris is falling and flames are coming out in all directions,” Edie Marshall, a Beijing resident, told Reuters. The unique structure was 159 meters tall and was said to have started around 8:30 pm local time.

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