The body of a man was found at a Fanling warehouse that was engulfed in flames for almost 12 hours on Wednesday, Hong Kong authorities have said.

A fire broke out at a warehouse near Kwan Tei at around dawn, the Fire Services Department (FSD) said. It was categorised as a level three blaze about an hour and a half later at around 6:50 a.m. By 1 p.m. the fire was “under control,” and it was “largely put out” at 4:30 p.m., according to an official statement.

fanling warehouse fire
Black smoke was seen billowing from the warehouse in Kwan Tei, Fanling. Photo: Fire Services Department.

“We cannot confirm the identity of the victim… but we believe he worked at the warehouse,” Tai Po district Chief Inspector Fan Wai-ho said.

“Our preliminary investigation showed that the warehouse was leased to a trade company to store seafood and other groceries.”

Another person was sent to North District Hospital for treatment after experiencing shock, according to the FSD.

fanling warehouse fire
Photo: Fire Services Department.

Pictures from the scene showed black smoke billowing from the depot.

During a press briefing, a reported asked about noises similar to explosions.

“The warehouse stored a lot of groceries and those cans and glass bottles exploded, so maybe that’s that. Whether there were any dangerous goods inside, we are still investigating,” FSD acting divisional officer Chan King-keung said.

fanling warehouse fire
The warehouse was used to store seafood and groceries, police said. Photo: Fire Services Department.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.

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Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.