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2 firemen, 1 woman killed as fire rages building in downtown Hong Kong
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 10 - 08 - 2008

Two fire fighters and one woman were killed while more than 60 residents were rescued as a fire raged a building in Mong Kok, a downtown area of Kowloon, Hong Kong on Sunday morning, Xinhua reported.
They were found by other fire services staff climbing from a nearby building and separately sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital but were later confirmed dead at around 14:04 local time (0404 GMT).
Doctors said they had inhaled too much smoke.
A woman, aged 77, was sent to Princess Margaret Hospital and later failed all emergency treatment.
Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, Secretary for Security of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, on behalf of Chief Executive Donald Tsang and HKSAR Chief Secretary for Administration, expressed his deep condolence to the families of the fire fighters and the resident at the fire scene.
"We're deeply saddened by the passing away of our brave colleagues," Lee said, adding "we all share the grief with their families."
He said that the HKSAR government would do everything possible and help their families tide over the difficulty.
Lo Chun-hung, Director for Fire Services Department, also lamented on the losses of two fire fighters, saying he felt "deeply sorry" for the tragedy.
The department had already set up an investigation team to figure out the cause of the fire and the deaths.
The fire started from a Karaoke store at the second floor at about 09:20 a.m. local time (0120 GMT) and soon engulfed the entire building. Heavy smoke billowing out of the building once darkened the skies nearby.
Fire fighters had to use fire ladders to rescue more than 60 stranded residents, among whom 56 were sent to four hospitals for physical examination or treatment. By 15:13 p.m. local time (0713 GMT) Sunday the fire was extinguished, about six hours after the rage.
A witness said he tried to put out the fire with three extinguishers when the fire broke out but failed. Then he called the fire service department.
A spokesman of the Fire Service Department said the department had mobilized more than 200 fire fighters and 40 fire engines to extinguish the fire.
Fire fighters and the police had to evacuate residents living near the building and several exits of the mass transit railway (MTR) at Mong Kok were forced to close down due to the fire, which also led to serious traffic jam on Nathan and Argyle roads.


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