Massive inferno engulfs New Taipei tower

Towering inferno: Massive fire breaks out in high-rise building in New Taipei City's Xinzhuang District 

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Tower engulfed in flames. (Photo from New Taipei City Fire Department)

Tower engulfed in flames. (Photo from New Taipei City Fire Department)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A massive inferno broke out in a 24-story building in New Taipei City last night (Sept. 13) on the 16th and 17th floors and soon spread to the 15th floor all the way to the top floor of the tower. 

At 7 p.m. last night, a fire suddenly broke out on the 16th and 17th floors of a building under construction in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District, reported TVBS. The fire department initially dispatched 13 units and 31 fire engines to the scene. 

However, as the flames spread higher, firefighters struggled to contain the blaze and soon the fire spread to the 15th floor and all the way to the 24th floor, engulfing a total of 10 stories in flames. As the fire was too high for the firetrucks’ 52 meter ladders to reach, a fire engine which has a ladder that is 72 meters in height, the longest in New Taipei City, was dispatched to the scene, reported Apple Daily.


(Image from Breaking News Commune)

Eventually, a total of 18 fire departments, 70 fire engines, 200 firefighters and police were dispatched to the scene, according to CNA.

As the fire grew more intense, onlookers picked up their mobile phones and posted pictures and videos on Facebook. The videos show a massive flaming tower dwarfing the tiny firefighters and firetrucks dispatched to battle the blaze. 

Huge explosions were frequently heard as massive quantities of formwork, electrical wires, and acetylene inside the structure combusted. Police expanded traffic control around the area and evacuated nearby residents as strong winds fanned the flames. 

A large construction crane on the roof started to sway precariously and residents feared it would soon tumble to the ground. At one point, the heat was so intense that firefighters were evacuated from the building for fear that the critical parts of the building's steel frame would melt and cause the building to collapse. 

Police confirmed that no people were trapped inside and that the formwork, wiring materials and acetylene inside made the blaze difficult to contain. The fire was finally brought under control at 8 p.m. last night, and Huang De-ching (黃德清), commissioner of the city's fire department, said that the 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd floors were complete gutted by flames, reported CNA

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. 


(Image from New Taipei City Fire Department)


(CNA image)


(CNA image)


Video from Breaking News Commune.


(Image from Breaking News Commune)


Video from Breaking News Commune.


(Image from Breaking News Commune)


Video from Breaking News Commune.


Video from Breaking News Commune.


Video from Breaking News Commune.