Hong Kong probes cause of blaze in shopping district

Hong Kong, March 3 (BNA): Hong Kong authorities are investigating Friday the cause of a massive fire that broke out overnight at a construction site in a popular shopping district and forced 170 people in nearby buildings to evacuate.

No deaths or injuries were reported after the fire broke out at the Mariners’ Club redevelopment project in the densely populated Tsim Sha Tsui area around 11pm on Thursday.

Multiple floors of the building — including the scaffolding — were set on fire and burning rubble floated into the air, according to the Associated Press.

The company’s website said the Empire Group’s redevelopment plan was to build a 42-story architectural landmark to house the historic Mariners Club and a new hotel.

Deputy Fire Chief Kyung Sae-ming said the fire was largely extinguished by 8:30 a.m. Firefighters battled the fire for nine hours.

The site is surrounded by a shopping mall, several hotels, and some residential and commercial buildings. Earlier in the night, crowds of onlookers had gathered in the street to watch the operation, which involved 250 firefighters and paramedics.

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