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Shaking SEG Plaza skyscraper to stay closed as China probes what made it sway

“Based on an analysis, any seismic event has been ruled out as a possible cause,” the Shenzhen government said.
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They ran screaming in panic as the 70-story skyscraper swayed above them — videos posted to social media showed thousands fleeing as it moved from side-to-side on Tuesday.

On Friday, the 1,167-feet SEG Plaza in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen was evacuated and closed as authorities and the building’s owners, Shenzhen Electronics Group Co. Ltd, continued investigating what had caused the building to move.

The Shenzhen government said on its microblog that no additional swaying had been detected since Tuesday, when the moving building caused objects on desks in the building to move and workers were evacuated from the tower.

Panicked pedestrians could be seen fleeing the area after the rocking began in videos shared to social media. Several nearby buildings were also evacuated, as police and fire crews sealed off the surrounding area.

“Based on an analysis, any seismic event has been ruled out as a possible cause,” the Shenzhen government said, adding that the building’s infrastructure, windows and other architectural features appeared undamaged and there were no signs of cracks in the surrounding streets.

Shenzhen Electronics also said it would carry out inspections into what caused the 20-year-old building to sway, the state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported.

As a result, the building’s first 10 floors, home to an electronics market, and the offices which make up most of the rest of it, were shut.

The U.S. Consulate in the nearby megacity of Guangzhou also issued an advisory Friday, urging American citizens to avoid the plaza “until further notice.”

Once a sleepy fishing village, Shenzhen was transformed into a thriving center of the electronics industry after it became China’s first “special economic zone” in 1980.

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Often dubbed China's Silicon Valley and home to tech giants Huawei and Tencent, it is now home to about 13 million people and the richest city in China by gross domestic product, or GDP, per capita, according to data from the International Monetary Fund and China’s National Bureau for Statistics.

It is also home to six of the world’s tallest buildings, including the Ping’an International Financial Center, which soars to nearly 2,000 feet.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called the city’s transformation “a miracle” at its 40th anniversary celebrations in October.