China skyscraper wobbles, spreading panic in downtown Shenzhen

Bystander videos showed the skyscraper shaking on its foundations as terrified pedestrians ran away on the street outside.
Bystander videos showed the skyscraper shaking on its foundations as terrified pedestrians ran away on the street outside.PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

BEIJING (AFP) - One of China's tallest skyscrapers was evacuated on Tuesday (May 18) after it began to shake, sending panicked shoppers scampering to safety in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Emergency management officials are investigating what caused the nearly 300m-high SEG Plaza in Shenzhen's Futian district to wobble, according to a post on the Twitter-like Weibo.

"After checking and analysing the data of various earthquake monitoring stations across the city, there was no earthquake in Shenzhen today," the statement said. "The cause of the shaking is being verified by various departments."

Bystander videos published by local media on Weibo showed the skyscraper shaking on its foundations as hundreds of terrified pedestrians ran away on the street outside.

The tower began to shake at around 1pm on Tuesday, after which all people inside were evacuated and it was sealed shut as of 2.40pm, according to local media reports.

The tower is home to a major electronics market as well as various offices.