A firefighter rescues people trapped in a fire that broke out at the World Trade Centre in Hong Kong on December 15, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Hong Kong:   About 150 people were trapped on the roof of Hong Kong's World Trade Centre on Wednesday after a fire broke out in the building located in the bustling Causeway Bay commercial and shopping district, police said.

Police told Reuters 13 people were taken to hospital, one of them semi-conscious. City authorities said firefighters were battling the blaze with two high-powered hoses, using ladders and breathing apparatus in the effort to rescue those trapped.

Shoppers and office workers streamed out of the building as smoke billowed from it. Police halted traffic on some major roads next to the 39-floor World Trade Centre, which is home to restaurants, offices and shops.

Nearly a hundred people had also evacuated to the top of the building while waiting to be rescued. Many of them later left the building. Some of them were covering their noses and mouths but did not appear to be seriously injured.

The fire was upgraded to a level three incident, according to a police notice. Fires are graded on a scale of one to five, with five being the most severe. As of 3:06 p.m., authorities said the fire was under control.

Two breathing apparatus teams and two water jets were mobilized to help fight the blaze, police said.

Media said the fire broke out in a utility room on a lower level of the shopping mall at noon before spreading to bamboo scaffolding surrounding the block.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.