Reports have come in that the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, is on fire. The building, named after the oil-rich republics's former president and father of its current head of state, Ilham Aliyev, was opened in May 2012 and was designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. RFE/RL puts the cost of the center at $250 million.
With billions of petro-dollars fueling a construction boom on an unprecedented scale in Azerbaijan, the modern building was featured by Extreme Engineering, a Discovery Channel Documentary series. News spread via online media sites, Twitter and Facebook. Helicopters are reportedly involved in attempts to extinguish the fire.
@LvIsmylv: Heyder Aliyev center yanır pic.twitter.com/pNOEAAQ6
@sakitoglu: Heydar Aliyev Center is burning! #Baku #Azerbaijan pic.twitter.com/ZoKag7Kd
Video was also uploaded to YouTube:
@nhacizade: Bakü'de yanan (http://bit.ly/NmuGHS) HA Kültür Merkezi inanılmaz güzel bir binaydı, üç hafta önce çektiğim hali: http://twitpic.com/a9m35m
RFE/RL’s Baku Bureau has now also posted some video: