A fire broke out at a five-star hotel in the capital of Chechnya on Wednesday, damaging nearly every floor of the 35-story building—including an apartment owned by French tax-dodger Gerard Depardieu. Russian tabloids are reporting that one of the apartments on the 27th floor of the Grozny skyscraper belongs to the actor, who was granted "honorable resident" status (and a Russian passport) after fleeing France to avoid higher taxes.
Fortunately, it appears that all the hotels guests and employees have been evacuated unharmed, but one entire side of the building was turned into a wall of fire and it's proven very difficult to extinguish. The fire has also created a stunning scene that could be seen for miles in every direction.
As you can see in the live stream below, as of about 1:30 Eastern time, the tower is still burning, roughly three hours after the first calls came into the fire department. We've gathered just some of the jaw-dropping images being gather by onlookers and journalists. You can see more at RT.com.
Грозный Сити горит 2 twitter.com/magello05/stat…— magello (@magello05) April 3, 2013