More than 300 people are trapped on the rooftop of a Hong Kong skyscraper after a fire broke out in an electrical switch room and ripped through scaffolding, engulfing the area in heavy smoke, the South China Morning Post reports.
At least seven people have suffered the effects of smoke inhalation from the blaze at the 38-storey World Trade Centre on Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, which took hold during Wednesday’s lunchtime rush.
Trapped people being rescued at Hong Kong's World Trade Centre after a major fire pic.twitter.com/1XHGmVr9sz— SCMP Hong Kong (@SCMPHongKong) December 15, 2021
Firefighters are using an extendable ladder to rescue those trapped in an open-air area section of the building on the fifth floor.
Office workers and restaurant-goers are said to be among those still in the building, which operates as a mall and office tower complex.
Police said preliminary investigation suggested the blaze broke out in an electrical switch room in the lower floor of the shopping mall, before spreading to scaffolding that is covering part of the building.
Smoke then entered the shopping centre itself and rear staircases.
The fire has been classed as a level three incident, with five being the most severe.