Towering Inferno

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57 Responses to “Towering Inferno”

  1. Rob Beschizza says:

    Any more talk of 9/11 after this comment and I will ban you for moronitude, this goes for the sane as well as truther fruitcakes.

    • ocschwar says:

      “Any more talk of 9/11 after this comment and I will ban you for moronitude, this goes for the sane as well as truther fruitcakes.”

      Doh! I hit send before that appeared. Really.

      Anyway, as for why this building has not collapsed, let’s keep in mind that it might still collapse.

    • Phikus says:

      Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until I had just submitted the previous. I am not one to start such derailment of threads, but since it was in full swing, I had to chime in with what I know. No need to call people names for expressing their opinion, however, I should think.

  2. dculberson says:

    There are times when name calling is appropriate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is wrong with you people? At least 42 people are dead, and your comments are about unrelated conspiracy theories?

    It’s not all about America. Spare a thought for the people of Shanghai.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That fire was about three blocks from my apartment, I walked by around 4:15 pm. As another Shanghai resident stated above, the scaffolding, like most in Shanghai, was steel, covered by netting.

    Standing two blocks from that 28-story tower, every floor aflame … it was a horrible, horrible sight. I’m still shaken up about it today.

    Some of the residents actually managed to climb down the scaffolding on the side of that inferno. One couple descended twenty stories to safety!

    High rises here are steel-reinforced concrete, sometimes with brick curtain walls. I’ve watched many being constructed. They seem to be structurally strong – last year one fell over when a contractor excavated a huge pit on one side of its base. The entire building slowly fell onto its side, intact, the only damage was a few broken windows.

    Heartfelt sympathy to the 50+ who died yesterday, and to their families. And my sincerest regards for the vast numbers of emergency workers – 25 fire brigades and countless police and ambulance crews – who worked bravely and professionally in the face of a monstrous disaster.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It looks like the building was still under construction*, which would account for the low death toll.

    *all that scaffolding

    • Anonymous says:

      It still had residents:

      At Jing’an hospital, the father of Wang Yinxing, a 30-year-old woman who lived on the 22nd floor of the building, searched a list of survivors at the hospital but could not find his daughter’s name.

      “She called her husband and said: ‘It’s on fire! I have escaped from the 22nd floor to the 24th floor,’ but then the phone got cut off,” the father, Wang Zhiliang, 65, said with tears in his eyes. “That was the last we heard from her.”

      Survivor Li Xiuyun, 61, told the AFP news service that she, her husband, son and a granddaughter had fled from their home on the 16th floor.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40190224/ns/world_news-asia-pacific

  6. bjacques says:

    Damn! And juxtaposed with the Charles Burns X’ed Out it’s even more dramatic.

  7. Legion971 says:

    Why has it not collapsed? Everyone knows that tall buildings that catch on fire collapse, don’t they? Only in America I guess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the building was under construction. There was considerably less fuel (particularly hydrocarbons from plastics) in this blaze, and had a lower temperature. Had this been an occupied building it probably would have collapsed.

    • Nadreck says:

      No, buildings that have swimming pools of jet fuel from airplanes crashing into them, plus swimming pools of diesel fuel at the base for the emergency situations centre, collapse. Construction debris gradually catching on fire is a few orders of magnitude lower temperatures. Think squib firecracker vs. Air Force jungle clearing firebomb.

  8. bitslayer says:

    In case you are wondering about the scaffolding, apparently the building was under renovation. It also appears that that may have been the route the fire was able to spread throughout the building.

    Also,let me be the first to say this proves that 911 is a joke in your town. I mean, 9/11 was an inside job.

  9. Anonymous says:

    everyone knows that every building is affected by fire the exact same way. *rolleyes*

  10. turn_self_off says:

    let me guess, the scaffolding is based on bamboo…

    • Anonymous says:

      IMHO, you are talking about *INDIAN* scaffoldings, not chinese ones…

    • angusm says:

      Bamboo scaffolding is used a lot in Asia, but that looks as if it might be metal. The bamboo scaffolding I’ve seen has tended to be a lot ‘denser’, i.e. with a great many more lengths of it tied together, presumably because bamboo isn’t as strong as steel.

      Renovation seems to be a risky time for buildings. Lots of fires start through simple carelessness (one place where I used to work burned because the workmen stripping paint off the outer wall left a lighted blowtorch on a wooden windowsill and went to lunch).

      I hope that the scaffolding provided an alternative escape route for at least some of the people in the building, because otherwise that one doesn’t look survivable.

      • dculberson says:

        Yeah, looks like steel scaffolding to me. The walk planks were probably wooden, which is why they aren’t there any more. They likely burned off, helping the fire to spread more rapidly.

        @anyone with 911 truthiness: you’re actually crazy. I say that with no malice. Get help.

  11. hug h says:

    I know someone- who knows someone who helped deliver and place the explosives in WTC 1 and 2… Shhhhh- don’t tell anyone! Also- the airplanes were actually drones and the “passengers” and crew are being kept underground at area 51. They say Elvis helped with logistics (he’s brilliant!) Even Nostradamus predicted it was an inside job.

  12. Nadreck says:

    It being under construction would explain why the sprinkler system wasn’t up to scratch.

  13. Larry7 says:

    @Legion971 Well said.

    Even if the official govt story summed the whole 9/11 thing up, including building seven, by saying “A wizard did it” it would have made more sense than the crap we all got fed.

  14. dequeued says:

    Well, obviously, this was an inside job.
    To the truth-mobile!!

  15. matow07 says:

    And tower 7 just got scared and tried to hide in it’s own basement

  16. Anonymous says:

    my simpathy goes out to all that have died :(

  17. Gregory Goldmacher says:

    Terrible situation, but what fantastic photography!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hello, Architect here.

    When talking about buildings collapsing due to fire one of the most important things to consider is the type of construction. I can’t tell from the photos but many buildings in China (and other parts of Asia) are constructed of steel reinforced concrete. The performance of concrete construction in fires is generally twice that of fireproofed steel. It’s possible that the entire interior of the building will be gutted and it still won’t fall in.

    When it comes to 9/11 and conspiracies anyone without a firm grounding in building construction should check Popular Mechanics special report on debunking 9/11 myths.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/1227842

    I choose to believe the engineers.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why it is constantly referred to as a 28 story structure. I count somewhere between 30 -36 floors in the photos of the building.

  20. ocschwar says:

    1) Plane fuel / office furniture does not burn hot enough to powderize concrete or melt steel cores, leaving it hot enough to still melt aluminum 3 days later. The only thing known to do that is explosives.

    Um, so explosives melt aluminum 3 days after going off? Come again?

    • Phikus says:

      Yes. Fires originally set off by explosives are the only ones we know of that leave debris still hot enough to melt aluminum 3 days after they have burned out. Pyroclastic flows, similarly, have only occurred through 2 means that we know of: volcanic activity and explosives.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yall are funny, I knew you’d be talkin’ bout this crap

  22. Loren says:

    For the truthers on here, the anonymous architect is right. Every tall building in Shanghai that I have seen (and that’s a decent number) are concrete and steel. There’s so much mass around the steel there’s no way it’s heating to the danger point, not to mention this incident doesn’t involve any incident that would knock off fireproofing.

    As for what that scaffolding is made of, it’s pretty obviously metal, not bamboo. I do agree the color is that of bamboo but it’s all single beams and bamboo scaffolding is done with multiple beams and doesn’t look so neat. I’ve got a photo on another monitor that I snapped in May 2009 in Shanghai of two adjacent construction sites, one using bamboo scaffolding and one using what I believe to be steel. Much of the metal in the steel one looks to be about the color in these pictures–it looks like a combination of orange paint and rust.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We left the building site at 8PM after having been 150 meters away, on the roof of a car park, for the preceding 90 minutes. It was an awesome spectacle.

    This building was first completed in 1998 and is part of a three building complex that houses roughly 500 families. It is part of a “public housing” complex and is home to many retirees and their dependents – this particular building was mostly occupied by retired teachers and civil workers.

    The scaffolding was steel – with some patches of bamboo, as is common here. Some sort of new insulation was being installed and the building was being repainted – who knows what chemical soup was involved with those operations.

    Far and away the real heroes tonight are the local firefighters – you could see flashlights searching the upper floors as flames poured out from windows below. They are heroes all -

    Final death and injury toll won’t be known for several days. Several score (yes, several score) of dead and wounded were immediately taken to Jing’An and Huanshan-Fudan University Hospital Complexes – both quite close to the site. It is Midnight here and still ambulances are racing back and forth from Huashan-Fudan Uni-Hospital to the fire sight.

    Let’s Think Happy Thoughts …

  24. El Pato says:

    This is a good reminder that many people are lucky – with everything now being a high rise building in China the risk of dramatic fires is getting greater. Poor maintenance, bad cooking habits (lots of oil and high temperature) as well as electrical stupidity could contribute to many more of these things. We are lucky that we don’t see more of these fires. Part of the luck is that these buildings are all concrete, which means fires are usually self contained. I imagine that either the scaffolding + paint/ other building material or that and some other combination (opened windows allowing internal chimneys to form) meant that the fire got out of control so fast.

  25. Anonymous says:

    A) No – sprinklers are not required here in residential buildings and this was ’98 construction so definitely not sprinkler-ed. That said, fore codes OD require (and have for some time) fire hoses on each floor – we could see water spraying away from the building so I assume this was fire fighters making their way from one apartment to the next.

    B) The scaffolding on this building was predominantly (90%) steel – though there were some bamboo inserts as is very common here. This building , and one the South, were both wrapped in the green nylon and cotton “guaze” that’s used to protect the street from falling debris and to protect workers from the weather. It is a miracle that the neighboring building’s exterior didn’t go up as well.

  26. Rob Beschizza says:

    Ha, there’s always some overlap, it takes about 15m for movable type to update the thread with new comments.

  27. Anonymous says:

    And this demonstrates why fire sprinklers are a good idea.

  28. Anonymous says:

    There are no sprinklers in China.
    The building was fully inhabited (around 500 people).
    The scaffolding is made of steel with bamboo,wood, or read floors surrounded by nylon netting.
    The fire started on the scaffolding.
    Many inhabitants were elderly and probably could not make it down the stairs.
    Many people died.
    This is no time for stupid 9/11 BS.
    A very sad day.

  29. Anonymous says:

    12:35AM Shanghai Time – Local branch of Xinhua News service, AP and CCTV are all three now putting the death toll officially at 42. Based on what we saw – I’d expect this to increase throughout the evening.

  30. yragentman says:

    “swimming pools of jet fuel”? Considering that fuel tanks are in the wings of planes which clearly disintegrated on impact with the building made “pools” impossible. In addition, the impact and fire was at very high floors making complete collapse very unexpected.

    The question is still valid – for this fire and many others – why has there been only one case of high rise total collapse due to fire?

    • pmh says:

      Go troll elsewhere yratroll, you’re not even good at it. Nadreck’s qualification of “swimming pools” worth of fuel isn’t very precise but is clear enough to understand by all but the most limited intelligences.

      AA flight 11 was carrying around 10,000 U.S. gallons of jet A when it crshed into the north Tower. A 21 foot round swimming pool 52 inches deep contains 10,408 gallons. The wings disintegrated on impact yet as they were flying at 466 Mph on impact the fuel continued through the building covering every surface over the 6 impacted floors. 30-50% of the fuel was lost in the fireball that exited the opposite side of the building yet this diminution of the effect of the burning jet fuel was more than counteracted by almost complete stripping of the protective fire protection that exposed the structure of the building.

      Now crawl back into your hole troll boy.

    • Brett Myers says:

      “The question is still valid – for this fire and many others – why has there been only one case of high rise total collapse due to fire?”

      There have actually been two. Tower One and Tower Two. All it takes is one floor in the middle of the stack to collapse, for the rest to come down. If you don’t believe me, drop a building 1/3 the height of the WTC onto another building 2/3 the height of the WTC from 10-15′ above it, and see if the whole thing doesn’t collapse.

      • Phikus says:

        1) Plane fuel / office furniture does not burn hot enough to powderize concrete or melt steel cores, leaving it hot enough to still melt aluminum 3 days later. The only thing known to do that is explosives.

        2) The “pancake theory” has been widely debunked and could not have caused the WTC towers to collapse. If it were plausible, there would be a slight pause as each floor slammed into the one below it. There was no pause. They fell at terminal velocity; the same speed a rock dropped from the top floor would hit the ground. All 110 floors.

        Thanks for playing.

        • Brett Myers says:

          “2) The “pancake theory” has been widely debunked and could not have caused the WTC towers to collapse. If it were plausible, there would be a slight pause as each floor slammed into the one below it. There was no pause. They fell at terminal velocity; the same speed a rock dropped from the top floor would hit the ground. All 110 floors.”

          You’re right of course. It’s much more plausible that the explosives planted on each floor were timed to go off at just the right interval to simulate a building collapsing at terminal velocity (thanks for the clarification, I wasn’t sure what terminal velocity was).

          It was clever how they blew the floors from the damaged areas down to make it look like a collapsing building, rather than from the bottom up like a building being dropped in a controlled demolition.

          • ocschwar says:

            “2) The “pancake theory” has been widely debunked and could not have caused the WTC towers to collapse. If it were plausible, there would be a slight pause as each floor slammed into the one below it. There was no pause. They fell at terminal velocity; the same speed a rock dropped from the top floor would hit the ground. All 110 floors.”

            You’re right of course. It’s much more plausible that the explosives planted on each floor were timed to go off at just the right interval to simulate a building collapsing at terminal velocity (thanks for the clarification, I wasn’t sure what terminal velocity was).”

            It’s now been 9 years since 9/11 and people still claim the towers went down at free fall (not terminal velocity, you’re getting your terms mixed up as well as wrong. Terminal velocity is different for every object that fell, be it an I beam or a speck of dust.)

            They did not. Just look at the youtube clips and pay attention to the clock. Or, look at stills of the collapse, with I-beams falling on the side much faster than the front of the collapse wave. Or, look at the seismograph readings. You’ve had 9 years to do that and you didn’t. And. That. Is. Just. Sad.

          • Brett Myers says:

            I apologize if my sarcasm wasn’t dripping enough to be obvious.

          • ocschwar says:

            You’re forgiven. And to show my magnanimity, I will now don a paper bag.

    • scaught says:

      1. I can’t believe how fast this thread turned into a 9/11 conspiracy fest.
      2. I can’t believe I’m getting sucked into it.

      What is your basis to question whether what happened to the WTC is typical or not? What is your sample size of “buildings getting smacked by jetliners” to compare to and say whether or not this was normal?

  31. Anonymous says:

    This is a concrete building. That is why it has not and will not collapse.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I guess the Chinese haven’t learned the importance of evacuating the COLLAPSE zone. The scaffolding doesn’t look very stable after being enveloped in flames and those people standing on the corners in crowds would never be able to avoid the falling debris if the scaffold were to fall apart. LOu

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