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1918-02-26 the great fire of racecourse mat-sheds official racebook cover

race meeting abandoned before starting the 5th race. 1918-02-26_5 Tue 2nd Day fire of matsheds official racebook China Stakes At a few minutes to three o’clock, just after the third bell had rung for the first race after Tiffin, the whole row of Chinese booth and mat-sheds, except one on the extreme north, collapsed, and awful confusion ensured. The stands fell gradually, beginning from the stand labeled D.A.J.A. and falling southward and outwards towards the road and made a sound like a rasping of a saw. It looked as if the tops of all the stands had been connected by a wire hawser and that this had been pulled over gradually. The stands and booths took about 10 seconds to collapse. It is unclear how the fire began, but it quickly spread and the structure was an entire loss.
However, there were accounts that before the catastrophe, several people engaged in preparing meals on cooking ranges in the sheds, and it was the upsetting of these that caused the fire, which levied such a terrible toll of human life though the fire was highly blazed only for 20 minutes.

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