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Hong Kong warehouse fire forces thousands to evacuate

March 24, 2023

Around 3,400 people, including students, were ordered to evacuate after a fire erupted at a warehouse in one of the world's most densely populated cities.

A woman and a young boy cover their faces with masks as smoke emerges from buildings in the background in Hong Kong, China
The smoke impacted thousands of people in the areas surrounding the warehouse in the city's busy Kowloon districtImage: Tyrone Siu/REUTERS

Hong Kong authorities evacuated at least 3,400 people from buildings after a fire broke out in a warehouse in the city's Kowloon district on Friday.

It took five hours for firefighters to put out the blaze. No casualties have been reported so far.

The state-owned company China Resources Group owns the warehouse, according to the Reuters news agency, but the details of how the fire started or what was stored there are unknown.

Firefighters trying to put out the yellow blaze emerging from the warehouse
Witnesses said the smoke was yellow in color and had a chemical smellImage: Tyrone Siu/REUTERS

The company is involved in running businesses from health care to consumer products, such as beer.

Hong Kong has one of the world's highest population densities.

The government provided temporary shelter to affected residents at a sports complex. They also advised the people to stay indoors to protect themselves from the "smoke and unusual odor."

"There is a chance that the number of people involved in the evacuation will rise further," police said. 

aa/nm  (Reuters, ap)

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