“The building is still under construction, so the firefighting equipment commonly found in other buildings is not yet ready to use,” he said. “We needed a large number of people to supply water to the very high floors to fight the fire, so we faced a lot of challenges.”
Construction materials there, including wooden boards and metal bars, also made it difficult for firefighters to move, he added.
The site is surrounded by a shopping mall, several hotels, and some residential and commercial buildings. Earlier in the evening, crowds of onlookers gathered in the street to watch the operation involving 250 firefighters and paramedics.
“Last night it was quite windy. By our count, burning debris was blown towards five buildings,” Keung said. “Two of the buildings, namely a hotel and a commercial building, saw part of their balconies catch fire. Fortunately, our standby officers quickly extinguished them.»
When dawn broke, the fire was less serious than hours before, although flames could still be seen on several floors. The outer walls of the structure were blackened and parts of its scaffolding appeared to be wobbling.