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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Fire blazes at new Shanghai tower
Shanghai World Financial Centre - 14/08/2007
The tower has been dogged by delays and controversies
A fire has broken out in an office tower under construction in Shanghai, China, sending smoke billowing from the side of the building.

The fire was started by sparks from welding work which fell onto flammable material, state media said.

The flames burned across several floors but no casualties were reported.

The Shanghai World Financial Centre will be the tallest building in China at 492m (1,614ft) when it is finished next year.

The official news agency, Xinhua, cited a report from Shanghai police saying the fire started on the 40th floor in an elevator shaft.

The fire shattered windows and sent smoke billowing from the unfinished building until it was extinguished about one hour later.

Overshadowed

The $910m (455m) project has seen a number of delays and controversies.

The 101-storey building was begun in 1997 but was shelved when the financial crisis hit Asia that year, gutting the demand for new office space in Shanghai.

It remained a hole in the ground in the Pudong financial district until work resumed in 2003.

It was intended to be the world's tallest building but Taiwan's Taipei 101 tower at 508m (1,666ft) took that honour first.

Taipei 101 is due to be overshadowed next year by Dubai's 800m (2,624ft) Burj Dubai.


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