Mall Burns Down as Employee Plays Video Game

Last October, a shopping mall in south Beijing caught on fire due to an electrical malfunction in a McDonald's. After a few months of investigation, it now appears the fault of the fire lies in the hands of one lazy mall worker who was too busy playing a game on his tablet computer.

The People's Daily, China's communist party mouth piece, reports (via the Beijing Times) that last October's mall fire in southern Beijing was indirectly caused by a mall employee. The investigation featured video surveillance tapes of everything that occurred that day.


On the early morning of October 11, smoke broke out in the McDonald's attached to the Xilongduo market. The cause of the smoke was a malfunction in the electrical charging unit of an electric bike that the McDonald's uses for deliveries. While the fire was still contained in the McDonald's, the restaurant's employees didn't actually do anything to combat it, so the fire grew. Video shows that the employees just sat around.

The fire turned into a blaze and started to spread into the mall. This, of course, set off the smoke alarms. The smoke alarms, in turn, alerted the mall's central office where the mall staff could've responded by alerting the fire department of the situation. Sadly, the fire department wasn't alerted, as the alarm was manually switched off by the mall staff.

The one man working that day had turned off the fire alarm. After doing so, he went back to do what he was doing when the alarm went off in the first place; playing a game on his tablet device.

According to China Central Television, the alarm would go off again in two minutes time and the gentleman would turn it off again. CCTV reports that, had the mall employee responded to the alarms, the mall might not have been as badly damaged as it was. Later, it can be seen that when the mall employee finally gets his act together, he doesn't exactly know what to do and has to resort to an operations manual to figure out how to get the alarm and the fire suppression system working.


The end result is much more macabre, with two firefighters dying during efforts to quell the blaze.

北京商场火灾细节:值班人摁掉火警继续打游戏[Beijing Daily via People's Daily]

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Eric is a Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie

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