The Mandarin Oriental Beijing, which was on track to open this year with 241 rooms, fell victim to a fire that started about 8.40pm. The cause of the blaze has still to be determined.
According to breaking news from Reuters, flames about 6 to 9m high shot out of the building near the CCTV (China Central TV) Beijing headquarters. CCTV, owner of the deluxe hotel, was not affected. At press time, there were conflicting reports about where the fire started. Some witnesses say from the ground and others say from the rooftop.
The incident occurred as residents were celebrating the Lantern Festival.
Spectators began posting their results on You Tube and other video sharing sites soon after the blaze.
Had the incident not happened, the hotel would have featured two signature restaurants, a champagne bar and several other posh outlets.
Margie T Logarta