Huge Fire Rips Through Skyscraper in Hong Kong Shopping District

A 42-story hotel being constructed in one of Hong Kong’s tourism districts went up in flames before firefighters brought the fire under control.

The Kimpton Hong Kong, a 492-room luxury hotel to be operated by InterContinental Hotels Group Plc near the waterfront, caught fire on Thursday evening. Television footage showed flames running up the length of the building, located in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, with red-hot embers showering the ground below.

Some neighboring buildings, including Chungking Mansions — famous for its inexpensive guest houses — caught fire before the blazes were extinguished, the South China Morning Post reported.

The fire, which was raised to a no. 4 fire alarm at 1:46 a.m. local time, was largely put out at 8:30 a.m., according to a government statement. A number of surrounding roads, including Nathan Road, remain closed to traffic, it said. No casualties were reported. 

Conflagrations are unusual in Hong Kong, where skyscrapers and apartment blocks are typically encased in bamboo scaffolding during construction. 

The Middle Road site, formerly a mariners club, is being redeveloped by Empire Group Holdings. The private company was founded by Walter Kwok, a real estate tycoon who died in 2018. The property, which will include a church and conference facilities, was scheduled to reopen next year, according to the group’s website. 

–With assistance from , and .

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