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Hong Kong World Trade Centre fire leaves 300 trapped

Hong Kong World Trade Centre fire leaves 300 trapped

Hundreds of people are trapped on the roof of the World Trade Centre in Hong Kong after a fire inside the building, leaving at least eight people injured.

The blaze broke out in an electrical room on the lower floors of the 38-storey skyscraper at 12.37pm Wednesday, before spreading to scaffolding wrapped around the building as the interior filled with smoke.

At least 300 people rushed to the roof and remain trapped there, as fire crews used ladders to pull people to safety from the lower floors. 

Eight people have been treated at the scene for the effects of smoke inhalation, with one woman – in her 60s – rushed to hospital in a semi-conscious state.  

The fire is thought to have broken out in an electrical switch room on the lower floor of a shopping mall inside the tower, filling parts of the building with smoke

Flames spread from the shopping mall to scaffolding wrapped around the building due to renovation works, causing smoke to fill the interior (pictured, women flee the scene)

Hundreds of people are trapped after a fire broke out inside Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre on Wednesday, leaving at least one person injured (pictured)

Firemen tend to a woman on the floor after she managed to escape from the burning World Trade Centre building on Wednesday afternoon

Fire crews use a ladder to help rescue people from the building, thought to be office workers stuck on the fifth floor

The other seven – one man and six women aged between 31 and 72 – were treated at the scene.

One more woman, 52, suffered leg injuries and was treated in hospital. 

As of 2pm local time, fire crews had rescued 160 people – many of them restaurant diners hauled to safety from an open-air area on the fifth floor.

Others managed to run to safety through the building’s smoke-filled lobby, and were seen streaming out on to the street. 

Police said it appears the fire started in an electrical switch room on one of the lower floors of a shopping mall inside the building before spreading to scaffolding covering part of the exterior.

Smoke then began pouring into the shopping centre itself along with interior staircases, filling the building.

The fire has been declared a level 3 incident out of a possible 5 – with level 5 being the most-serious. 

The WTC operates as a shopping mall and dining complex as well as an office block, and was filled with people enjoying lunch when the blaze broke out. 

Fire crews have been using ladders to rescue people from the lower floors of the building, but hundreds more remain trapped inside

A woman crouches down in the basket of a cherry-picker as she is rescued from the World Trade Centre in Hong Kong after he building caught fire

Women are rushed to safety by fire crews after evacuating Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre

Women cover their mouths with cloths as they leave the smoke-filled skyscraper

A fireman helps to rescue people from an open-air part of the skyscraper, located on the fifth floor of the building

All of the shops have been vacant for several months while the lower floors of the building, including its underground car park, were renovated.

Restaurants between the sixth and 13th floors, as well as offices between the 14th and 38th floors were still in use at the time of the fire, SCMP reports. 

Ms Gu, the manager of a Chinese restaurant on the 12th floor, said smoke started to fill the building around 12.45pm when staff were serving around 80 customers.

‘We called the management hotline multiple times but there was no response,’ she told SCMP.

‘We quickly gathered the customers and grabbed some towels and evacuated. We had to bend low as the smoke was swelling up in the staircase.’

Rescue workers evacuate people from the site after a fire broke out at the World Trade centre in Hong Kong

Firefighters stand by outside the World Trade Centre where is located in the city’s popular Causeway Bay shopping district

Crowds watch as firefighters use ladders to rescue people from the World Trade Centre in Hong Kong after a fire broke out inside

Hong Kong World Trade Centre fire leaves 300 trapped

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