At least 12 people have been killed and dozens more are awaiting rescue as a huge fire engulfed a high-rise residential building in Shanghai. Several residents including elderly citizens are believed to be trapped in the 28-storey building located in the Jing'an district. Reports in the Chinese media state that the witnesses have spoken of hearing loud explosions.
Officials maintain that almost 90 people were rescued from the building but all sustained injuries from the mishap. The residential complex, which was constructed in 1998, reportedly houses about 156 families, including several teachers, some of them retired from service.
Xinhua reported that a total of 25 fire brigades and 61 fire engines have been dispatched to extinguish the blaze. Firefighters are still working to contain the fire while several people are reportedly waiting on the 28th floor to be rescued. Three police helicopters have been deployed for rescue operations and the surrounding streets have been cordoned off.
The injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals. Eye-witnesses have also been reporting incidents of people jumping from the windows off the building in order to escape the blaze.
The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined but officials suspect that scaffolding between 10th and 12th floors of the building caught fire, which soon spread to the adjacent flats.