Hong Kong: Fire at World Trade Centre leaves hundreds trapped on roof

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Media caption,

Watch: Dozens of people are stranded on the roof of the WTC awaiting rescue

Around 300 people were trapped on the roof of Hong Kong's World Trade Centre on Wednesday after a fire broke out.

Local media reported that 13 people were injured and taken to hospital, with one woman in a critical condition.

Police said the fire broke out in the machine room and moved to the scaffolding surrounding the building, which is currently under renovation.

Those trapped on the roof have now been rescued, with more than 1,200 people in total evacuated from the building.

Those who were injured are aged between 25 and 60, according to the South China Morning Post. Local media is reporting that a 60-year-old woman is in a critical condition in Ruttonjee hospital.

Image source, Meiling Lai
Image caption,
A photograph from the building shows diners waiting to be rescued

All the shops had been vacated during the extensive renovation works, leaving only several levels of the building in operation - mostly restaurants and offices, the South China Morning Post said.

The blaze at the 38-storey World Trade Centre on Gloucester Road was first reported at lunchtime.

Among those in the building when it caught fire was Meiling Lai, who was having lunch at a restaurant on the 12th floor when the building caught fire.

She told the BBC the fire alarm went off about 10 minutes after smoke first appeared in the restaurant.

"We asked the wait staff what happened and they said something caught fire on the lift shaft on the fifth floor, but they didn't say a fire had broken out," Ms Lai told the BBC's Grace Tsoi.

"No alarm was heard. A staff member even said: 'We are not leaving yet, don't be afraid.'"

She ended up being trapped along with about 80 people on a podium on the fifth floor, she said, before the group was rescued safely by firefighters.

Additional reporting by Zubaidah Abdul Jalil.

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