The tallest building in Chechnya, part of a luxury condo-hotel complex in which French actor Gerard Depardieu owns an apartment, was rapidly consumed by fire on Wednesday evening, Russia Today is reporting.
Reports from the scene indicate that as crowds gathered in the street to watch, flaming crumbs of the 40-story building's facade splintered and fell to the ground. Massive clouds of black smoke blew into the Chechnyan sunset.
The building, draped in a highly flammable high-density plastic trimming, is called Olympus and is part of the Grozny-City complex, which includes a handful of tall buildings in Grozny, the Chechen capital.
The tower has reportedly been evacuated. Hundreds of firefighters are attempting to extinguish the blaze.
Top image: Reuters.