Scores evacuated as fire erupts in Hong Kong skyscraper

By Reuters   March 2, 2023 | 11:11 pm PT
Scores evacuated as fire erupts in Hong Kong skyscraper
A fire burns at a high-rise building under construction in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on March 3, 2023. Photo by AFP
About 170 people were evacuated from a Hong Kong shopping area after a fire broke out in a skyscraper late on Thursday night, the government said.

Firefighters battled the blaze at a redevelopment project in the Tsim Sha Tsui district throughout the early hours of Friday, the flames visible from the other side of Victoria Harbour.

Several upper floors of the building were engulfed in fire, according to Reuters witnesses, and blazing falling debris, including bamboo scaffolding, sparked smaller fires in adjacent structures.

Keung Sai-ming, Hong Kong's deputy chief fire officer, told reporters that 250 firefighters and rescue workers battled the blaze for the entire night before it was extinguished around 8 a.m. (0000 GMT) local time.

He said the cause of the fire was being investigated.

The building is a 42-storey project by the Empire Group to house the city's Mariners Club and a hotel, according to the company’s website.

The Mariners Club opened in 1967 to provide affordable accommodation to seafarers, and was popular among maritime workers passing through Hong Kong.

The Empire Group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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