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Blaze hits construction of Zaha Hadid Chinese opera house

Billowing smoke signalled a fire that broke out this week at the site of Zaha Hadid’s opera house in Guangzhou, southern China, which is due to open later this year.

According to Chinese media outlet Architecture BBS, the fire was extinguished the same day and although investigations into the cause of the fire are now ongoing, it added that people at the scene blamed large welding operations.

No one was injured in the fire.

Zaha Hadid Architects said: “An incident involving a fire at the construction site of the Guangzhou Opera House occurred at 7:50am on Saturday 9 May 2009. All staff were evacuated safely with no injuries. No members of the public were involved.

“The fire was extinguished by the Fire Department in under an hour. Initial inspections confirm the structure of the building remains completely intact. Further investigations into the cause are undergoing. We must wait for these investigations to be completed before we know if the opening date will need to be altered.”

The fire is the second to hit a high profile Chinese building after the Beijing Television Cultural Center suffered a severe blaze caused by fireworks on the last day of Chinese new year. It had been scheduled to be complete this month.

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