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Fire rages in showpiece Grozny skyscraper

Kazbek Vakhayev / EPA

Residents and firefighters watch flames rising from the burning 'Grozny City' luxury apartment tower in Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia, April 3, 2013.

AFP - A fire raged in a 40-storey skyscraper in the Chechnya capital Grozny on Wednesday, a building which is a centrepiece of a drive by local authorities to promote the city as a glitzy and modern hub.

Musa Sadulayev / AP

A local resident makes photos with a mobile phone of a fire in a high-rise apartment building in provincial capital Grozny, Russia, April 3, 2013.

"We have no reports of casualties... The fire is currently spreading across the building's facade via the plastic outer panels," the spokesman for the North Caucasus regional branch of the Emergency Situations ministry, Kantemir Davydov, told the Interfax news agency.

A witness photograph posted on Twitter showed flames and smoke pouring from the building in the Grozny-City complex named the Olympus tower, which is topped by a giant clock face and stands 145 metres (475 feet) tall. Full Story