Screams, panic as people flee wobbling skyscraper in Shenzhen, China – National

todayMay 19, 2021

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Hundreds of people fled from a massive skyscraper in Shenzen, China, on Tuesday afternoon after the 291-metre tower started to wobble for no obvious reason.

Videos posted on Chinese social media show crowds running in panic from the SEG Plaza tower around 1 p.m., following an order to evacuate.

“One of my friends was in the building and noticed that the water bottles on the desk started to shake,” witness Chen Wei told the South China Morning Post.

Officials say the building eventually stopped moving and no one was injured, but the incident has sparked alarm and concern that the structure might not be safe.

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“There was no earthquake in Shenzhen today,” district officials said in a statement reported in the state-run Global Times on Tuesday.

Winds reached a maximum speed of 32 km/h on Tuesday, in what the U.S. National Weather Service describes as a “fresh breeze.”

Experts found “no safety abnormalities in the main structure and surrounding environment of the building,” district officials said later in the day. They added that there did not appear to be any damage to the interior or exterior of the structure.

This picture shows the 300-metre SEG Plaza in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province on May 19, 2021, a day after it triggered widespread panic when it began shaking and was evacuated.

STR/AFP via Getty Images

The building did not wobble again after the initial incident on Tuesday afternoon, but it remained off-limits while authorities conducted their investigation.

The SEG Plaza tower is the 18th-tallest building in Shenzhen, a booming electronics manufacturing hub located in southern China. Construction on the building was completed in 2000 and it’s now home to several offices and a major electronics market.

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It’s not unusual for buildings and roads to collapse in China, where construction standards are weak and expansion often happens at a rapid pace. Corruption has also been blamed for such collapses.

China banned skyscrapers over 500 metres tall last year, though some cities already have height restrictions in place.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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