Honolulu Marco Polo building fire leaves several dead | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 15.07.2017
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Honolulu Marco Polo building fire leaves several dead

Scores of fire fighters have been battling a blaze in a residential tower in Honolulu. Some people were reportedly trapped in their apartments as the fire spread across floors.

Firefighters were battling a blaze in a large Hawaii apartment tower on Friday, with local media reporting people were trapped inside.

Fire officials said at least three people had died, possibly more.

A fire broke out in a unit on the 26th floor of the Honolulu condominium at about 2.30 p.m. local time (00:30 Saturday UTC). The fire department said it had spread to the floor above.

Read: Wuppertal evacuates tower block over Grenfell-like cladding

Read: Hundreds evacuated from London towers over safety concerns

"I started smelling smoke and this woman was screaming help and I looked out on the lanai (veranda) and even though the fire is on the mauka (inland) side, the entire floor was engulfed in smoke," resident Mitch Silva told news broadcaster Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services told the Associated Press they had treated two patients and transported them in serious and stable condition to the hospital.

Several ambulances were on scene evaluating patients for smoke inhalation, several hours after the fire broke out.

Fire Captain David Jenkins told the news agency that most residents made it safely out of the Marco Polo apartments but firefighters were checking to see if there are residents are unable to get out.

Witnesses on the scene said police were yelling through megaphones for people still inside to come down.

About 60 firefighters were on scene and helicopters could be seen circling the tower. The high-rise has 568 apartments and four commercial spaces.

Last month a fire in a 24-level apartment building in London killed at least 80 people and led to large scale inquiries into fire safety.

aw/ng (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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