More than 300 people have been left trapped on the rooftop of Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre after a fire broke out in the 38-storey building.
The blaze is reported to have broken out at approximately 12.30pm in an electrical switch room, during the lunchtime rush, with the flames then spreading to the scaffolding.
At least 12 people are said to have been injured, the majority of which reportedly suffered from smoke inhalation.
A woman in her 60s is among the injured, and is reported to be in a semi-conscious condition in hospital with difficulties breathing.
28-year-old office worker Ernest Chan was among those evacuated to the roof, but was fortunately able to make his way down the staircase following a lengthy wait.
Chan told the South China Post:
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. 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.
25-year-old Zac Chan, 25, who was waiting near the police cordon, told the publication that his roommate was stuck up on the rooftop awaiting evacuation:
He said there were around 100 people on the rooftop and have been waiting for about an hour for rescue. He’s quite calm and we are keeping in touch.
At around 1.45pm, firefighters were observed using an extendable ladder to rescue people trapped in an open-air area section on the fifth floor of the building.
As of around 2.00pm, police stated that more than 300 people had been left trapped on the rooftop, with a further 160 having been evacuated from the Causeway Bay building.
At approximately 3.15pm, police said one man and six women, aged between 31 and 72, had been taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Another woman, aged 52, was treated at Queen Mary Hospital after suffering leg injuries.
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