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Hong Kong World Trade Center fire: about 1,200 people evacuated

Although the cause of the fire remains unclear, the South China Morning Post reported that the fire broke out in an electrical switch room on the ground floor of the mall.

Foto: PETER PARKS

Firefighters rescued more than 1,200 people who were trapped in the World Trade Center in Hong Kong, where at 12:37 pm (local time) a fire began to spread, forcing mass evacuations of workers and customers from the mall. Firefighters managed to control the fire at 4:30 pm About 150 people were left trapped in the ceiling.

At least 14 people were affected by smoke inhalation and were sent to nearby hospitals. Among them, a woman in her 60s who was unconscious and with breathing difficulties.

The building is owned by the real estate Sun Hung Kai Properties, and has 14 commercial floors and 25 offices. It is located in Causeway Bay, one of the main business and financial districts of the city.

“This is one of the busiest business districts, so the fire has caused a lot of chaos and stress,” said Britt Clennett, a correspondent for Al Jazeera. “This happened during rush hour,” he added.

Although the cause of the fire remains unclear, the South China Morning Post reported that the fire broke out in an electrical switch room on the ground floor of the shopping center, an area that was being renovated. At 1:00 pm, the authorities decreed level three of emergencies in a maximum of five levels.

Firefighters mobilized two artificial respirators and two water jets to help fight the fire, police said.

“We asked the waiters what happened and they said that something caught fire in the elevator shaft on the fifth floor, but they did not say that there had been a fire,” he told the BBC Meiling Lai, who was having lunch at a restaurant on the 12th floor when the fire occurred. “No alarm was heard. One staff member even said, ‘We’re not leaving yet, don’t be afraid,’ “he added.

Firefighters used an extendable ladder to rescue people who were trapped on the fifth floor. The police reported that they opened an investigation into the cause of the fire.

With information from Efe *

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Source: Elespectador

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