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65th Floor of Moscow’s Federation Tower Catches Fire

Image: worldnews.msnbc.msn.com

Said to be Europe’s tallest skyscraper, the Federation Tower in Moscow caught fire on Monday evening, reigniting the debate about whether Moscow’s capital is expanding too quickly. Helicopters used hundreds of tons of water to put out the fire, which broke out on the 65th floor of the tower.

On Monday evening a spectacular blaze could be seen in Russia’s capital city as the 65th floor of the Federation Tower caught fire. The tower is an expansive glass and steel complex and is apart of the Kremlin plans to transform Moscow into a world-class financial center. Though the fire was eventually extinguished and there were no casualties, the debate about whether Moscow is developing too quickly remains a hot topic.

Moscow has experienced a construction boom over the past 10 years with a massive City Center complex that is designed to include 12 towers and enough space for at least 250,000 people to live, work and shop. The Federation Tower will be complete in 2013 and is expected to be Europe’s tallest building with 93 floors.

Yevgeny Asse, a professor at the Moscow Institute of Architecture, commented on the fire saying, “We don’t know why the fire started yet, but the regulations here are as tough as they are in Europe, or the US. Construction areas at the top of high buildings are just dangerous places.”

He also said that he is not a fan of the project, calling it “unnecessary and hastily conceived”.

“It lacks infrastructure, public transport connections, and parking space. Downtown Moscow is already congested, and here we’ll see a huge concentration of people and cars. It’ll lead to way too much overcrowding in the city center,” Asse said.

Mikhail Delyagin, director of the independent Institute for Globalization Studies in Moscow said, “I don’t think we should let officials and contractors off the hook for the fire in the tower before there’s been a full investigation. There is considerable evidence that this project was hastily developed and poorly planned. I’ve heard stories of cracks in the walls, and underground areas intended for parking being filled with concrete to shore up the foundations…The quality of construction is very much in doubt.”

Source: Business Insider

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014