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The Big Boot burns - now you see it, now you don’t

See Update Below.

(And see Sun Bin for eyewitness account (and now video); also Shanghaist, Danwei and ChinaSMACK. If you want to see for yourself exactly how the fire started, check out this excellent series of videos on Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.)

With breaking news, it’s not unusual for a TV station to not have pictures in its first report(s). Then the pictures arrive and they’re used in later broadcasts. What is unusual is for this sequence to be reversed.

Before midnight, Monday, February 9:

After midnight, Tuesday, February 10:


The mysterious disappearance of pictures continued: 8am News, late morning news….

UPDATE: Why so coy? Well, maybe because it was CCTV’s own illegal fireworks that burned down its extremely expensive building and killed a firefighter:

The blaze that caused one death and six injuries at a hotel near the China Central Television (CCTV) new headquarters in Beijing Monday night was caused by fireworks, the city’s fire control authorities said Tuesday.

CCTV hired staff from a fireworks company to ignite several hundred large festive firecrackers in an open space outside the nearly-completed Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is part of the iconic CCTV tower complex, said Luo Yuan, spokesman and deputy chief of Beijing Fire Control Bureau.

The people who ignited the fireworks are being questioned by police, he said at a press conference late Tuesday morning without giving details.

Four camcorders recorded the fireworks display and the entire ignition process, Luo said.

He said these fireworks were much more powerful and explosive than what was available at roadside stalls during the Spring Festival and therefore needed approval from the municipal government before being allowed in the downtown areas.

Owners of the property ignored policemen’s warnings that such fireworks were not allowed,” Luo said. He said investigation is continuing.

Fire broke out at the 30-storey building at 8:27 pm Monday and was put out at 2 am.

A 30-year-old fireman died from respiratory tract injuries at hospital early Tuesday. Beijing Fire Control Bureau said seven others were injured, including six firemen and one construction worker.

CCTV’s apology (without pictures and without an acknowledgment of the firefighter’s death) is here.

One Comment

  1. 灰常稀饭 wrote:

    ccav were embarrassed

    “W​e​ ​a​r​e​ ​s​o​r​r​y​ ​f​o​r​ ​h​u​r​t​i​n​g​ ​t​h​e​ ​f​e​e​l​i​n​g​s​ ​o​f​ ​t​h​e​ ​C​h​i​n​e​s​e​ ​p​e​o​p​l​e”​

    Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Shanghai Scrap » Earth to CCTV: What happened to your sprinklers? on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 11:52 am

    […] [UPDATE: Really remarkable video of fireworks (apparently) igniting the north tower’s roof, here (h/t black and white cat)]. […]

  2. provinzblog » Pressezensur mal anders on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    […] [via] Tags: CCTV, China, Zensur […]

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