A blaze broke out at around midday inside the 38-floor World Trade Centre building in Hong Kong. More than 150 people were trapped on the rooftop as police and firefighters launched a rescue operation.
Reuters quoted the police and the fire department as reporting that more than 150 people, including shoppers and restaurant-goers, were trapped on the rooftop.
“Initially we were walking down, but at around the 17th floor, we heard that there’s heavy smoke, so we decided to head to the roof instead,” office worker Ernest Chan told the South China Morning Post (SCMP). “But we waited for too long and the visibility seemed clear, so we walked down again. If we didn’t make this call, we would still be waiting upstairs.”
Firefighters used ladder cranes to rescue people. Overall, more than 1,200 were evacuated to safety.
Smoke at Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre pic.twitter.com/nfK1IqoaLf
Trapped people being rescued at Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre after a major fire pic.twitter.com/1XHGmVr9sz
Local media quoted police as saying that seven victims were hospitalized with smoke inhalation, and one person suffered leg injuries.
A preliminary investigation suggested the fire had broken out in an electrical switch room, after which the blaze spread to scaffolding covering the buildings and then to the shopping center itself, police said, as cited by SCMP.
At least two people injured, more than 100 people awaiting rescue following three-alarm fire at Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay pic.twitter.com/5d3yqOvq4O
People being treated after a major fire broke out at Hong Kong’s World Trade CentreVideo: Danny Lee pic.twitter.com/flk15RHCuT
Officers told Reuters that 13 people had been injured. Local media, meanwhile, quoted the police as saying that seven victims had been hospitalized with smoke inhalation, and one person had suffered leg injuries. The fire has now been extinguished.