Hundreds were trapped in Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre on Wednesday after a fire broke out in the 39-storey commercial complex, leaving at least 13 injured.

A fireman lowers a crane with a rescued person from Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre high-rise building, which suffered an electrical fire trapping hundreds on the rooftop, in the city’s Causeway Bay district on December 15, 2021. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP.

Reports of a fire at the shopping centre and office tower complex in the commercial heart of Causeway Bay caught were received at around 12.37 p.m..

Photo: Stand News.

The blaze was upgraded to a No.3 alarm fire at 1.03 p.m. Firefighters managed to surround the fire at 3.06 p.m., according to the authorities.

Photo: Stand News.

A least 13 people were sent to the Ruttonjee Hospital, the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and the Queen Mary Hospital for treatment as surrounding roads were closed around Causeway Bay.

A woman who was sent to Ruttonjee was said to be in critical condition, a government spokesperson told HKFP.

Photo: inmediahk.net, via CC 2.0.

According to local media, police said a preliminary investigation found that the fire broke out inside a meter room on the first floor of World Trade Centre.

Photo: Stand News.

The blaze then spread to scaffolding on the exterior of the building where renovation works were underway. The authorities were still looking into the cause of the fire.

The fire was deemed under control by 4.25 p.m. and was largely put out by 4.30 p.m.

Trapped on upper floors

The force said people were trapped on different floors inside the building as hundreds awaited rescue on the rooftop on the 39th floor during the afternoon. Local media reported that some of the people trapped had to use oxygen masks.

Online footage showed dozens of customers evacuated from a buffet restaurant as smoke filled the room.

Some people were evacuated to East Point Road and Jaffe Road.

Photo: NowTV

The Fire Services Department deployed two jets and mobilised two breathing apparatus teams to contain the blaze.

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.