Wednesday, February 11, 2009

China's CCTV - TV station on the news...!!!

The CCTV tower

The Mandarin Oriental on fire, situated about 200 metres from the CCTV tower

TV stations normally cover news events.

But instead China’s Central TV station or CCTV caused the news.

CCTV, China's largest TV station was blamed for causing one of the biggest fire ever seen in Beijing, last monday.

No doubt, it was big breaking news!!!

It all started when a staff of the TV station hired a fireworks company for a fireworks show outside CCTV iconic new headquarters in Beijing.

But the show went awfully wrong – it caused a huge fire and destroyed a nearby building, the nearly completed Mandarin Oriental Hotel which is part of the iconic CCTV tower complex.

As a result, the 241 rooms, 30 storeys and 159 metres high Mandarin Oriental Hotel is now history.

A firefighter was reportedly killed while fighting the blaze.

Luckily the there were no guests at the Mandarin Oriental as the hotel was not yet opened.

The story here. (source China Daily & Xinhua)

CCTV apologizes for great loss caused by lethal blaze

BEIJING -- China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday apologized for a massive fire that engulfed part of its new headquarters in the eastern central business district of the capital.

The fire broke out on Monday evening, and one firefighter was killed tackling the blaze and seven other people were injured.

In a statement on its website, the broadcaster said it "feels sorrowful for the great loss that the fire inflicted on national assets. CCTV sincerely apologizes for the traffic congestion and inconvenience that affect residents nearby."

"CCTV will do everything possible to cooperate with relevant departments in dealing with aftermath of the fire," the statement said.

Beijing Fire Control Bureau has confirmed that a senior official of the office of the CCTV new headquarters construction project hired people, without any reference to superiors, to illegally set off fireworks, which caused the fire, according to the statement.

The fireworks company ignited several hundred large festive firecrackers in an open space outside one of its nearly-completed buildings, said Luo Yuan, spokesman and deputy chief of Beijing Fire Control Bureau.

4 camcorders recorded the fireworks display and the entire ignition process.

The people who ignited the fireworks are being questioned by police and remains of fireworks have been seized.

The 30-storey building, about 200 meters from the iconic CCTV main tower, houses the luxury Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a television studio and an electronic data processing center.

The CCTV tower and the Mandarin Oriental hotel were designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

The CCTV tower was listed as one of the wonders of Chinese architecture by U.S.-based Business Week magazine and viewed as the most radical structure in the country.

The new CCTV headquarters, at a height of 230 meter and a floor area of about 400,000 square meters, combines administration with news, broadcasting, studios and program production - the entire process of TV making - in a sequence of interconnected activities.

Although the building is 230 meter tall it is not a traditional tower, but a continuous loop of horizontal and vertical sections that establish an urban site rather than point to the sky.

The irregular grid on the building's facades is an expression of the forces traveling throughout its structure.

The second building, the 115,000 m2 Television Cultural Center (TVCC) includes a hotel, a visitor's center, a large public theatre and exhibition spaces.

It is visible from the main intersection of the Central Business District through the "window" of the CCTV headquarters.

The 241-rooms Mandarin Oriental, fully furnished with luxury facilities, was intended to be Mandarin Oriental's flagship property in China.

The building was used during the Olympic Games, but the companies moved out afterwards," said a CCTV staff member surnamed Chen, adding that he didn't know whether there were still people in the building.

Firefighting was hampered by height of the building, as water from the hoses could at most reach 40 meters high.

Beijing is dry during the season, as the city has not seen any rainfall in 106 days.

Witnesses said that the flame was about 80 meters at one time.

Snow-like ashes fell as far as 1 km from the building and smoke eclipsed the full moon.

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