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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 12:47 GMT
Steel shower halts Taipei building
Steel from the tower
Pieces of metal fell into a school
Construction work on the world's tallest building has been halted in Taiwan after dozens of steel plates fell from the 90th floor into the grounds of a school.

Eye witnesses reported a thunderous sound as 28 pieces of steel fell 400m from Taipei 101 into Hsinyi Elementary School.

"The sound was enormous, the pupils all heard it, but it was class time so all the children were inside," said school official Lili Lee.

Two passers-by were taken to hospital with slight injuries, according to TVBS cable news, and a taxi driver told the station that at least five objects hit his car.

Engineer Lin Pei-yuan said a worker was shifting a cart containing the pieces of steel, up to 30cm long, between the 90th and 91st floors when he lost control.

The accident prompted authorities to close a shopping mall attached to the partially constructed skyscraper for safety checks. The mall opened a week ago and was expected to remain closed for 24 hours.

Work on the building, due for completion by the end of 2004, was interrupted in March 2002 when a crane fell from the 53rd floor after a strong earthquake, killing four people.

Taipei 101
Taipei 101 is the world's tallest
Taipei 101, named after its number of floors, is 508 metres high and has cost $1.7bn to build.

The pinnacle of the building was installed last month, and the mall was opened by Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian, who said it would help push the country onto the world stage.

The landmark overtakes Kuala Lumpur's 452-metre Petronas towers, previously regarded as the world's tallest building.

World's tallest building opens
14 Nov 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan tops out tallest building
17 Oct 03  |  Asia-Pacific

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