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November 22, 2010

Shanghai apartment fire

One week ago, on November 15th, in Shanghai, China, a fire erupted, apparently within construction materials and scaffolding surrounding an occupied 30-story apartment building under renovation. The flames quickly spread to the building itself and soon engulfed the entire structure. Workers and residents scattered down scaffolding, or climbed to the roof, attempting to escape the smoke and flames. Unfortunately, 58 people were unable to escape, losing their lives, and 70 more were injured in the blaze, which was contained within four hours. A number of individuals are now in custody, including some unlicensed welders. The Shanghai government has also taken responsibility for the fire and lax safety oversight, and China has just ordered a nationwide overhaul of fire-control measures. Yesterday was the seventh day after the fire, an important day in China's traditional mourning process. (32 photos total)

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a building in Shanghai, China on November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song)

In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, spectators watch an apartment building on fire in the downtown area of Shanghai on Monday Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Xinhua) #

In this citizen journalism photo acquired by the Associated Press people watch as an apartment building burns in the downtown area of Shanghai on Monday Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Karl Loo) #

A person waits for rescue in the scaffolding of a burning apartment building in Shanghai on Monday Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Xinhua) #

People from another building watch firefighters extinguish a fire on an apartment building in downtown Shanghai on Monday Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A huge fire engulfs a high-rise in Shanghai, after construction scaffolding surrounding the building initially caught fire, spreading to the building itself on November 15, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

People watch a burning residential building in Shanghai on November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Firefighters spray foam and water on the lower portion of an apartment building on fire in the downtown area of Shanghai on Monday Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A man takes a photo of a burning building in Shanghai on November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Fire rages inside a 30-story Shanghai apartment building as fighters work to extinguish it on November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Rescue workers carry a victim out of a burning building in Shanghai, November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Firefighters work into the night, extinguishing a fire at a building in Shanghai on November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

A resident watches a burning building in Shanghai, November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Chinese firefighters work inside a high-rise apartment building that was just engulfed in flames in Shanghai, on November 15, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this picture taken on November 15, 2010, medical personnel transport a victim's body after a massive fire engulfed a high-rise building in Shanghai, China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

An elderly man looks out from the apartment building which was damaged by fire in the downtown area of Shanghai on Monday Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Residents hang onto scaffolding as they wait for help after a fire broke out at their apartment building in the downtown area of Shanghai on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A survivor receives treatment at a hospital after a massive fire burned a high-rise building in Shanghai on November 15, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

People gather to watch an apartment building that was destroyed by fire, while flowers and wreaths are placed around in the downtown area of Shanghai on Nov. 17, 2010. (AP Photo) #

This photo taken on November 17, 2010 shows two fire extinguishers hanging from damaged scaffolding after a huge fire at a high-rise building in Shanghai on November 15. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

People look up at the entrance of a burnt apartment building in Shanghai, November 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

A Chinese girl, on her way to lay flowers for victims who were killed in an apartment building fire in Shanghai on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010. Thousands of somber Chinese marked a traditional day of mourning Sunday for 58 people killed in a high-rise fire in a gathering closely watched by police. (AP Photo/Color China Photo) #

A man prays for victims killed in an apartment block blaze, at the entrance of the building, in Shanghai November 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Relatives burn the belongings of their relatives who were killed in the apartment fire in Shanghai, November 16, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

On November 18, 2010, Chinese people mourn for the victims at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a huge apartment fire in Shanghai on November 15. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

Standing behind a barrier, people look on during a memorial service at the scene of a huge fire which engulfed a high-rise in Shanghai on November 15. Photo taken on November 18, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman weeps as she looks at the entrance of a burnt apartment block in Shanghai November 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song) #

Chinese police officers stand guard while a sign reading, "Don't Cry Shanghai," is held up amongst a crowd as they gather to view a fire-damaged apartment building on Nov. 21, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A policeman, center, stands watch as people lay flowers for victims, who were killed in a fire accident on an apartment building in Shanghai on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Color China Photo) #

Chinese people bring flowers to place at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a huge fire in Shanghai on November 18, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Chinese woman places flowers at a makeshift memorial in Shanghai on November 18, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man mourns for his relatives at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a deadly fire in Shanghai on November 18, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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