London landmark goes up in smoke

A famous building in London's West End caught fire yesterday, sending thick plumes of smoke rising over the heart of the capital.

Fifteen fire engines and about 75 firefighters were sent just after 11am to tackle the large blaze on top of Marconi House, at the junction of the Strand and Aldwych.

London Fire Brigade said the fire took hold of about a quarter of the 100 sq m roof of the 10-storey building, which is being converted to a five-star hotel and 86 luxury flats to a design by Norman Foster's architectural firm.

There were no reports of people trapped or injured, and the blaze's cause is unknown.