NPR logo High Rise Fire Kills Dozens In Shanghai, Injures At Least 100


High Rise Fire Kills Dozens In Shanghai, Injures At Least 100

Chinese police block off an area as firefighters try to extinguish a huge fire which engulfed a high-rise in Shanghai, after construction scaffolding surrounding the building initially caught fire. STR/Getty hide caption

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A dramatic high-rise building fire in Shanghai has killed 42 people, according Xinhua, China's official news agency. The fire also left more than 100 people injured.

The New York Times reports some of the building's residents were trapped on the roof:

Video posted on the Internet and some online accounts suggested that some residents were trapped on the roof of the building and that a few may have jumped to their deaths. Three helicopters tried to rescue residents from above, but flames and thick black smoke hampered the efforts, Xinhua said.

The BBC reported that officials said more than 80 fire trucks responded to the scene but it still took hours to control the blaze. The death toll may still rise:

Correspondents say many people were trapped in the upper part of the building, and it could be several hours before the full number of people who died is known.

Rescue workers are still combing through the wreckage for survivors.

The building was reportedly home to a number of retired teachers, and municipal officials said it housed 156 families in total.

Shanghai television said survivors had been evacuated to a nearby stadium where rescue officials had set up a command centre.

The AP reported the cause of the fire had not yet been determined. The BBC reported that witnesses said "construction materials caught fire and the flames quickly climbed the scaffolding surrounding the building."