The Shenzhen skyscraper was closed when officials searched for a reason to shake
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People gather in front of the 73-story SEG skyscraper in Shenzhen, China on May 18, 2021 in this image from social media. Weibo / @ Shaguo Dabao Tou / via REUTERS
By David Kirton
BEIJING (Reuters) – The owner of a 71-story office tower in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen closed the building on Friday pending investigations into why the skyscraper began to shake on Tuesday.
Shenzhen Electronics Group Co Ltd will close the 356-meter-long SEG Plaza to renters and buyers to conduct inspections on the cause of the sway, according to a notice on the Weibo (NASDAQ 🙂 social media account of the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Reuters was unable to immediately contact Shenzhen Electronics for comment on the closure.
The swaying resulted in objects moving on desks around the building and evacuating workers from the tower. Videos shared on social media showed panicked pedestrians fleeing the area after the swings began.
Several nearby buildings have also been evacuated, with police and fire departments sealing off the area.
The main structure of the building is safe and no cracks were found in the building or its surroundings, the Shenzhen Housing Authority said in a statement on Wednesday. An initial investigation ruled out an earthquake as the cause.
The SEG Plaza opened in 2001 and electronics stores are located on several lower floors.
On Wednesday, the US Consulate General in Guangzhou recommended that US citizens avoid the Huaqiangbei area where the building is located because of “insufficient information to assess security risks.”
For those who work nearby, business has continued as normal.
“Most of my co-workers make fun of it, they don’t worry,” said Keyman Guan, whose robotics company continued its anniversary in a nearby building hours after Tuesday’s evacuation.
“I didn’t realize what happened until I saw a picture of the crowd on the streets.”
Others say they will remain cautious until there is a clear explanation.
“I wouldn’t dare go back to work unless there is a very thorough and reasonable report,” said Donny Zhang, who runs a hardware consultancy and procurement firm in the area.
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