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Sydney’s inner city became the main attraction on Thursday when a burning building collapsed.

The fire broke out just after 16:00, bringing the city to a complete standstill during rush hour traffic.

Smoke could be seen coming out of the heritage-listed building in the city’s Surry Hills neighbourhood from far away.

A bystander told ABC News Australia that the moment the building collapsed was terrifying.

“The craziest thing was seeing the building collapse. It was pretty terrifying. A huge plume of smoke came up and that whole wall just caved in. It was the loudest noise. The ground shook.”

According to the City of Sydney’s building and planning records, the building was set to be turned into a hotel. The idea was to knock down the adjacent buildings, but the building that burned down would have been retained.

Two hours after the fire started, it was contained. Emergency personnel is expected to work thought the night to ensure the building is safe and that people in neighbouring buildings are safe and have accommodation for the night.

Image credit: 2GB

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