Fire extinguisher shoots 12 storeys in the air during demolition of ill-fated tower The ill-fated Garley Building showed yesterday it has not shed its fateful reputation. A fire extinguisher - left behind amid the inferno eight years ago in which 40 people died - exploded, tearing off the arm of a demolition worker. The extinguisher shot 12 storeys in the air from the third floor of the building in Jordan and smashed a window on the 15th floor of an adjoining tower block, dislodging chunks of concrete, before plummeting back down onto the demolition site. The force of the explosion ripped the arm of a 35-year-old worker from his shoulder. Police and firemen searched in vain for the limb, finding only the palm of his hand. The man was in serious condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital last night. The accident happened at about 5pm and was captured on videotape by closed-circuit cameras. 'The cylinder was leaking gas and kept turning round and round on the floor. We could see it shoot to a unit on the 15th floor of the Hung Wan Building, breaking the window and bouncing back to the original position,' said Yung Kin-kwok, Kowloon South divisional commander. Mr Yung said the fire extinguisher had been left behind by former tenants. It was of a type banned in Hong Kong about 10 years ago. The concrete was dislodged when the extinguisher smashed into the Hung Wan Building and then fell to the ground, injuring a passing pedestrian. The 55-year-old man was also taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he was in stable condition. Of the Garley Building's 16 floors, only three remain. A shopping mall is to be built on the site. As well as the 40 people who died in the Garley Building in November 1996, another 81 were injured. The fire was sparked by a welding torch used in the installation of new lifts. With flames spreading up through the building, scores of people rushed up to the roof, where helicopters plucked some to safety. It was the first time they had been used to conduct such risky rescue operations amid such a nest of high-rise buildings. For others, help came too late. Onlookers watched in horror as trapped workers, silhouetted against the flames at upper-floor windows, screamed and gesticulated for help before succumbing one by one.