Chinese city to buy fire truck with powerful hose after Shanghai high-rise blaze kills 53

16:56, November 17, 2010      

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A northwest China city will soon purchase a fire truck with a powerful hose from a Finnish company to extinguish fires in high-rise buildings, an official said Wednesday.

The government of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, made the decision early this year and expects to sign a contract with the company this week, Jia Xihai, an officer with the city's fire-fighting force said.

Jia revealed the plan to buy the fire truck after a deadly fire engulfed a 28-story residential building in Shanghai on Monday. At least 53 people perished in the tragedy.

The fire truck will cost about 25 million yuan (3.76 million U.S. dollars). It is able to shoot water up to a height of 101 meters -- the highest for any fire truck in the world.

It will be put into use in Xian in April 2011, Jia said.

Fire truck hoses in Xi'an currently shoot water up to a height of 53 meters.

Experts said China's fire-fighting capacity in many cities is inadequate for fires higher than 60 meters above the ground.

The Xian municipal government will spend 450 million yuan on a number of fire-control projects. The projects include the purchase of a German-made surveillance vehicle and the construction of seven fire stations.

The surveillance vehicle will cost about 13 million yuan. It is equipped with an unmanned infrared camera that transmits video from the scene back to headquarters.

The Shanghai blaze, which authorities have blamed on unlicensed welders, has exposed safety loopholes in China's fire-control systems, including the use of flammable materials in scaffolding and inadequate fire-fighting facilities. Police have detained eight people in connection to the fire.



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