Moment Teen Crane Driver Saves 14 From Burning Building

Story ByJohn FengSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyAsia Wire Report

Video Credit: AsiaWire

This is the moment a teenage construction worker uses a crane to rescue 14 people trapped inside a burning building – including a young boy and his own former school teacher.

Lan Junze, 19, was doing wall insulation work nearby when he heard the commotion and noticed the six-storey residential building ablaze in the city of Fushun in China’s north-eastern province of Liaoning.

The fire had begun in a ground-floor corner shop and quickly spread into the homes of the upstairs residents on 2nd May.

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Pictures Credit: AsiaWire

Footage taken by neighbours and nearby witnesses shows Lan arriving in the lorry-mounted crane, which he parks next to the building before extending its arm and aerial platform towards the windows.

A mother surnamed Dong and her 12-year-old son – the youngest of the victims – were the first to be rescued from their second-floor balcony.

They climbed onto the platform and were lowered to the ground before Lan raised the arm to the window above in order to rescue more survivors.

Dong said: “The fire wasn’t very big at the time and I woke my son up to escape. 

“As soon as I opened the front door, the entire corridor was charred black and full of smoke. I couldn’t see a thing.

“While my son was screaming for help, the crane arrived and we were saved. If it weren’t for Lan Junze, I don’t know how we would’ve escaped.”

A middle-aged couple and an elderly woman were saved next, and it was only after the rescue that the husband, surnamed Mang, realised the crane operator was his former secondary school pupil.

Mang, who taught physical education, revealed his wife and his mother – the oldest victim at 79 – were unable to escape as the lower floors and the corridors were engulfed in flames.

Lan would go on to save nine more, with the dramatic blaze ultimately claiming no lives thanks to his heroic efforts.

Local authorities later put out the blaze, but images show the sides of the building completely charred and the structure is now no longer habitable.

Officials have arranged temporary lodgings at hotels for the victims.

The teenage crane hero has played down the rescue, saying: “I didn’t have time to think. All I wanted to do was save people.”

Lan added: “The fire was really strong and there was no time to consider any risks or consequences.”

The local government, which is still investigating the cause of the fire, has since awarded Lan with an official commendation for his actions.

John Feng

I am a senior journalist and editor, and have worked for a number of different news agencies over the last decade. I am currently editor-in-chief of the Asia Wire Report news wire.