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China's towering inferno
One of China's worst fires in years swept through a Shanghai skyscraper. Are careless contractors to blame? Or is it the country's lax safety rules?
 
Most of the 180 units in the Shanghai building were reportedly home to teachers and their families.
Most of the 180 units in the Shanghai building were reportedly home to teachers and their families.
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The video: On Monday, 53 people were killed and 70 injured when a fire devastated a 28-story apartment building in downtown Shanghai whose exterior was being treated with insulation. (Watch a clip below.) The blaze, thought to have begun with "flammable nylon and bamboo scaffolding" outside the tower, lasted four hours before firefighters could contain it. In the aftermath, Chinese authorities quickly detained four suspects and accused them of unlicensed welding.
The reaction:
The blaze underscores safety concerns that have plagued China for years, says MSNBC. Residents were particularly frustrated by the fact that the disaster took place in Shanghai, "a wealthy city that is one of the country's best-run urban centers." Fire services seemed unprepared for the magnitude of the blaze, says David Barboza at The New York Times. Even though "sprinkler systems are not required for residential buildings," available firehoses can only reach 12 stories high. Watch footage of the Shanghai fire:

 

 

 

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