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Shanghai tightens high-rise security after stunt

Vadim Makhorov, from Russia, takes photos from a crane, about 650 meters above the ground, on the top of the Shanghai Tower.A video of him and Vitaliy Raskalov climbing to the top of the building has become a hit on the Internet. (Provided to China Daily)

Publication Date : 17-02-2014

 

Security at skyscrapers in Shanghai has been enhanced to prevent illegal climbing after a daredevil stunt by two Russian climbers.

Officials at Shanghai Tower said they would adopt stricter security and warned against trespassing after two people broke into the site during Spring Festival.

The 632-metre Shanghai Tower, which is due to open in 2015, will be the second-tallest building in the world, trailing only the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, when it is completed.

A five-minute video of two masked men hiking to the top floor of Shanghai Towner has been viewed more than 2 million times on Youku, China's largest video website.

Russians Vadim Makhorov, 24, and Vitaliy Raskalov, 20, said on their blog that they arrived at the construction site around midnight and spent two hours climbing to the 120th floor.

The men, who were wearing no safety equipment, eventually climbed to the top of a crane about 650 metres above the ground and tens of metres away from the building exterior.

The video and photos of the two sitting atop the crane and dangling their feet above the clouds amazed many netizens. "Climbing" has become one of the most searched words online, and the video has inspired some Chinese men to take selfies at extreme heights.

Shanghai police said on Thursday that they were investigating the climbing incident. They urged construction sites to step up security and reminded people not to attempt such dangerous feats.

"We will keep any similar thing from happening in the future," Shanghai Tower said in a statement on its micro blog. A wire fence will be installed on the wall surrounding the construction site.

This is not the first time someone has illegally climbed a skyscraper in Shanghai. In 2007, French veteran high-rise climber Alain Robert was detained by Shanghai police for five days and ordered to leave the country for climbing the 420-metre Jin Mao Tower. He donned a Spiderman costume to climb the skyscraper in the city's Lujiazui financial hub.

There have been five similar cases since Jin Mao Tower opened in 1999.

Shanghai has more skyscrapers than any other city on the Chinese mainland. It has 42 skyscrapers that are higher than 200 metres and another eight under construction, according to motiancity.com.

You Wei, a law professor at East China University of Political Science and Law, once called for a ban on such stunts, citing the safety costs and potential threat to the privacy of people inside the buildings.

But there are some who hope public access to high-rises won't be barred.

Photographer Sun Xiaochen, 28, said he has climbed to the top of more than 100 high-rises in Shanghai and taken pictures from open platforms. "Shanghai has the most beautiful skyline among major cities, and it feels different to enjoy the view from another angle up there," he told Shanghai Morning Post.

Sun said he and his friends have been turned away by security guards at several skyscrapers after the incident at Shanghai Tower.

Fang Yuqing, of Shanghai's association of property management companies, said photography on high-rises is a creative activity and should be encouraged.

"As long as it's safe, the platform should be open to the public, just like we've opened some of the sports venues in school to the public when they are not being used."

 

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