Copenhagen Fights Last Pockets of Fire that Destroyed 400-year-old Landmark

Emergency management work in the former Stock Exchange of Copenhagen, Boersen, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
Emergency management work in the former Stock Exchange of Copenhagen, Boersen, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
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Copenhagen Fights Last Pockets of Fire that Destroyed 400-year-old Landmark

Emergency management work in the former Stock Exchange of Copenhagen, Boersen, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)
Emergency management work in the former Stock Exchange of Copenhagen, Boersen, Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

Danish firefighters were still at work extinguishing the last pockets of a fire that destroyed a 400-year-old Copenhagen landmark a day after the blaze began, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Morten Langager, manager of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which was headquartered in the Old Stock Exchange and owned the building, said the building, built in 1615 and known for its green copper roof and distinctive 56-meter spire in the shape of four intertwined dragon tails, should “rise again.”

No decision has yet been made about whether the city will reconstruct the building, which would cost millions, if not billions of kroner (dollars).

Many in Denmark compared Tuesday’s fire to the April 2019 blaze at Notre Dame that destroyed the 800-year-old cathedral’s spire. Its restoration is slated for completion this year.

The head of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, Brian Mikkelsen, told Danish media that most of the building's most valuable contents had been saved. The building contained priceless paintings and other works of art, AP reported.

When the fire engulfed the building on Tuesday, passers-by, Chamber of Commerce staff, police officers and members of an army unit that had been sent to help raced inside the building to save its treasures.

The extent of the damage, caused by flames and the tons of water poured to extinguish them, was still unknown, as was the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started on the building's roof during renovations on Tuesday morning.

Huge billows of smoke rose over downtown Copenhagen and could be seen from southern Sweden, which is separated from the Danish capital by a narrow waterway. Ambulances were at the scene but there were no reports of casualties.

Smoke damage closed ministries located in the street behind the Old Stock Exchange, which remained shut Wednesday as employees were told to work from home because of a strong smell of smoke in the buildings.

The buildings must be thoroughly cleaned and their ventilation systems must be checked and perhaps replaced before ministry staff can return, said Rasmus Brandt Lassen, head of the Danish Building and Property Agency.

“We have told them that they should expect to work at home for the rest of the week,” Brandt Lassen said.



World’s First Wooden Satellite Built by Japan Researchers 

The world's first wooden satellite made from wood and named LignoSat, developed by scientists at Kyoto University and logging company Sumitomo Forestry, is shown during a press conference at Kyoto University in Kyoto on May 28, 2024. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / AFP)
The world's first wooden satellite made from wood and named LignoSat, developed by scientists at Kyoto University and logging company Sumitomo Forestry, is shown during a press conference at Kyoto University in Kyoto on May 28, 2024. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / AFP)
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World’s First Wooden Satellite Built by Japan Researchers 

The world's first wooden satellite made from wood and named LignoSat, developed by scientists at Kyoto University and logging company Sumitomo Forestry, is shown during a press conference at Kyoto University in Kyoto on May 28, 2024. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / AFP)
The world's first wooden satellite made from wood and named LignoSat, developed by scientists at Kyoto University and logging company Sumitomo Forestry, is shown during a press conference at Kyoto University in Kyoto on May 28, 2024. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / AFP)

The world's first wooden satellite has been built by Japanese researchers who said their tiny cuboid craft will be blasted off on a SpaceX rocket in September.

Each side of the experimental satellite developed by scientists at Kyoto University and logging company Sumitomo Forestry measures just 10 centimeters (four inches).

The creators expect the wooden material will burn up completely when the device re-enters the atmosphere -- potentially providing a way to avoid the generation of metal particles when a retired satellite returns to Earth.

These metal particles could have a negative impact on the environment and telecommunications, the developers said as they announced the satellite's completion on Tuesday.

"Satellites that are not made of metal should become mainstream," Takao Doi, an astronaut and special professor at Kyoto University, told a press conference.

The developers plan to hand the satellite, made from magnolia wood and named LignoSat, to space agency JAXA next week.

It will be sent into space on a SpaceX rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in September, bound for the International Space Station (ISS), they said.

From there, the satellite will be released from the Japanese ISS experiment module to test its strength and durability.

"Data will be sent from the satellite to researchers who can check for signs of strain and whether the satellite can withstand huge changes in temperature," a Sumitomo Forestry spokeswoman told AFP on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, a rocket carrying a separate sophisticated satellite -- a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and JAXA -- blasted off from California on a mission to investigate what role clouds could play in the fight against climate change.

The EarthCARE satellite will orbit nearly 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth for three years.