Asia Blog: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam

Beijing Mandarin Oriental Hotel Fire

Posted in China, World News by Elliott Back on February 9th, 2009.

The nearly finished 241-room Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Beijing went up in flames after lunar new-year’s fireworks set the complex ablaze. The following photo from Chinasmack indicates the severity of the fire, which completely destroyed the building:

Shanghaiist quotes a number of twitter users who claim that the building is reported to be structurally unsound, and that it will either collapse or be torn down:

@fuzheado: Cripes … BBC says building will collapse.

@DavidFeng: Word has it that the building is close to explosion. Whole thing pretty much toast, all in all. — 00.09am

@iheartbeijing: policemen around scene were predicting collapse, undoubtedly they will have to implode building if it doesn’t happen on own — 00.10am

Beijing CCTV Annex Fire – Mandarin Oriental Hotel –

Please note that although it was originally reported in many blogs, newspapers that it was the CCTV building on fire, that is incorrect. Also, Richard asks if random fireworks should be allowed on Chinese new years.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 9th, 2009 at 7:09 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

14 Responses to “Beijing Mandarin Oriental Hotel Fire”

  1. aerd says:

    I was in the building opposite overlooking a huge fireworks display when the fire began. The fireworks were professional and being launched from the building site. One of the exploding arrows landed in the roof of the building.

    I think somebody important had the idea to initiate a fireworks display of such a scale so now they are trying to cover up.

    Before the fireworks started the display caused at least one traffic accident on the ring road.

  2. anonymous says:

    For how long did it burn?
    Isn't it supposed to collapse with freefall speed to the ground after one hour?

  3. elliottback says:

    Well, it wasn't accelerated by Jet Fuel…

  4. alfonsobergamoo says:

    I don't understand why have have not identified beforehand that it is not a good thing to do.

  5. Marc says:

    I am in Beijing at the moment and saw the building at daytime yesterday (Saturday 14 Feb).
    The facades on East, South and West are severely touched by the fire, from top to bottom. The North facade is largely untouched.
    Most fire from inside seems to have been located on the South side, the topmost quarter of the building.
    At the corners, you can see through the building at some locations, where the ouside cladding is reaaly gone (burned or molten).

    From the North gate of the building site (the closed I could get to the building), it seems it is strong enough to stay standing.
    Damage to the main structure will be limited, esp. at the lower 3/4 part.

  6. Morgan says:

    It sucks because the construction cost more than $600,000,000.00 now the entire structure has to be torn down. It was planned to be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

  7. Marc says:

    The 600.000.000 dollar was the entire comple, or only the CCTV main building.

    This hotel alone certainly did not cost that much.
    It isn't any spectacular from structural point of view. Nor is it really big on nowadays' scale.

    If they tear it down or only strip-and-refit it is the question to be answered the coming time.

    Anyway, Chinese authoroties don't want to know about this disaster, it seems.

  8. Who are you??? How could you (or anybody) know if the building has to be torn down yet??? smells fishy to me…. just like on 9/11 when people seemed to know exactly what happened hours after it happened….. no… sorry, things like this take time to investigate and form a conclusion. The building did not collapse, and it had larger fires than WTC 7 on 9/11………..

  9. Jet fuel burns at 1200 degrees F. Office fires burn at 1200 to 1800….. jet fuel will help start a fire….but it will not “accelerate” it to a point to more intensly damage a steel frame building. If you want to know the truth about the physics and engineering of the 3 WTC buildings go here:

  10. Liza says:

    Is anyone hurt?

  11. AM/WF says:

    wow aerd that is interesting at it being a cover up. any word on that?

  12. UK Structural Engineer says:

    Comparisons with 9/11 are not necessarily valid. The structural design and mode of structural fireproofing would have been radically different (WTC was designed in the 1960’s), and the combination of circumstances at WTC were unique.

    But the conspiracy theorists are superficially convincing, until you start applying common sense. I hear that the book sales are doing really well…

  13. kitchenelixir says:

    what a waste, all the $600,000,000.00 turned into ashes.

  14. Scott Kent says:

    One comment
    “Made in China”

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