Capsule Hotel in China Fails Fire Safety Test
The city's Fire Control Board says fiber-reinforced plastics used to build the capsule hotel's tiny room compartments are highly flammable. They have denied the property approval for operations.
First introduced in Japan, the idea behind a capsule hotel is travelers on a budget can rent out a bed in a morgue-like row of rooms. The Shanghai property is only 3,200-square feet and has 68 guest capsules. It's the first such hotel in China.
"What is popular in Japan is not necessarily suitable here. I would not say it was illegal, but the capsules are just unsafe and not suitable for a hotel," a Shanghai fire department spokesman tells AFP.
While the hotel had announced last month that it was open, with nightly rates of about $10, it apparently never received the proper permits.
The hotel is located near the Shanghai Railway Station.
In addition to the capsule materials not being fireproof, fire safety officials say heavy smoking among guests was another concern.
The owner of the hotel tells the Shanghai Daily newspaper he plans to make required changes.
China has been cracking down in the area of fire safety regulation after a blaze at a Shanghai high-rise killed 53 people. The blaze was in part blamed on unsafe materials.
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