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Firefighters rescue 300 people trapped inside Hong Kong World Trade Centre

More than a dozen were taken to hospital

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 15 December 2021 17:42 GMT
Smoke pours out of Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre as fire traps more than 300 people

Firefighters were able to rescue more than 300 people who were trapped on the rooftop of the 40-storey World Trade Centre in Hong Kong after a fire broke out in the building on Wednesday afternoon.

At least 13 people were rushed to hospital, including a woman in her sixties in a semi-conscious condition with breathing difficulties.

The fire broke out in an electrical switch room and spread to some scaffolding. The building is currently undergoing renovation and houses both offices and a large shopping mall.

The injured are being treated at Ruttonjee Hospital, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital.

No fatalities have been reported.

A firefighter rescues someone trapped in the building, which is currently undergoing renovation (REUTERS)

At least 100 people were moved from a restaurant to a podium on the 39th floor when smoke engulfed the dining area. The police halted traffic on some major roads next to the building to expedite the evacuation of shoppers and office workers.

“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,” Ernest Chan, an office worker, told South China Morning Post.

“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,” the 28-year-old added.

Firefighters used extendable ladders to rescue people trapped on the lower floors of the building. According to the police, firefighters mobilised two breathing apparatus teams and two water jets to fight the blaze.

The fire was upgraded to a level three incident, with five being the most severe. As of 3.06 pm local time, authorities said the fire was under control.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the building.

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