Hong Kong World Trade Centre fire: reports at least 100 trapped inside shopping centre

A fire has broken out at one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping districts, trapping at least 100 people on the 39th floor and injuring at least five, according to local media reports.

Smoke billowed from the World Trade Centre, a shopping centre and office building complex in the Causeway Bay district at around noon on Wednesday.

The cause of the fire remains unclear. Portions of the building are being renovated, and its lower levels are shrouded in scaffolding.

At least 15 ambulances have been sent to the site and eight people taken to hospital as of 2.30pm, said officials. Their condition is unknown.

Police were seen directing passers-by away from the site as firefighters rescued dozens of people from the building’s lower levels via extendable ladders.

The fire was raised to a level three alert at around 1pm, out of a ranking system of five levels, with five being the most severe.

Video footage circulating on social media shows dozens of people, including elderly citizens, trapped in a narrow space at an outdoor area on the fifth floor, awaiting rescue. More than 100 people are trapped on the building’s 39th floor, according to local media reports.

Relatives of those trapped soon arrived at the scene. A family member of a woman trapped on a fifth-floor rooftop area told StandNews the situation was chaotic, and that smoke came in small and big waves.

The fire comes amid the busy festive season, at one of the city’s most popular shopping districts.

This is a developing news story, please check back for updates.

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