A large fire engulfed nine boats anchored at the Shau Kei Wan typhoon shelter in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor on Sunday afternoon, leaving at least five people with minor injuries.
The fire broke out at around 2:01 p.m. some 200 meters from the shore at the typhoon shelter. A fishing boat was the first to catch fire. The flames then quickly extended to neighboring vessels, causing one of them to burn down to its skeleton.
China.com reports that six fire boats and more than 159 firemen were sent to tackle the blaze. Officers quickly upgraded the fire to No. 3 alarm at 2:38 p.m. and led two men and three women to the shore. They suffered minor injuries and were taken to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for treatment.
Jane Candlish, a resident of the private Grand Promenade estate that overlooks Aldrich Bay, told SCMP:
We were in a restaurant and saw a massive plume of black smoke rising from behind [Grand Promenade].
More boats caught fire and there were more explosions. We saw massive pieces of smoky debris being blown around. The air was so toxic we then came upstairs to the 46th floor which was surrounded by smoke.
One sobbing fisherman, Chan Ping, told reporters that his house boat had been completely destroyed. “I did not buy insurance for the house boat, and I may need HK$2 million to HK$3 million to buy a new one,” he said.
The fire has been controlled by 4 p.m., and the cause remains unknown.
Watch video of firefighters putting out the blaze here:
By Lucy Liu
[Images via NetEase // Video via Sina]