Hundreds trapped on skyscraper rooftop as blaze rages at shopping centre

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There could be hundreds of people trapped on top of a skyscraper rooftop as a horrific blaze continues to rage at a shopping centre in Hong Kong.

More than 300 people are feared to be trapped on the roof after the major fire broke out at lunchtime local time.

Fire crews have rushed to the 38-storey World Trade Centre on Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, at around 12.37pm (4.27am GMT).

The fire has been branded a level three incident. The seriousness of fires are graded on a scale of one to five in the city, with five being the most severe.

Police have said a woman in her 60s was lying in a semi-conscious state in hospital and suffering from smoke inhalation, and three others are also reportedly unwell after the fire.

Shoppers and restaurant-goers are said to be among those still within the building, which operates as a small and office tower.

Officers have received multiple calls over the fire and staircases at the back of the building are filled with dense smoke.

Photos from the scene show thick, black smoke billowing in the air.

Around 100 or so have been evacuated to a fifth-floor open-air section of the building.

A further 160 have been evacuated from the building.

Latest reports say six people have been hospitalised and there may be 350 people trapped, although total numbers are unclear due to the restaurants and mall.

At 1.45pm (5.45am) fire crews were using an extendable ladder in a bid to rescue those who were trapped up there.

However, dozens are still believed to be trapped in restaurants in the shopping centre, writes South China Morning Post.

Police have said initial investigations suggest the blaze began in scaffolding covering parts of the skyscraper, with smoke spreading into the shopping centre itself and nearby staircases.

A government spokesperson has said fire crews are battling the fire with two water jets and two teams equipped with breathing apparatus have been deployed.

Shanghai Eye reports at least 1,000 people were evacuated, as passers-by in the street below standing and watching the horror blaze.

Witnesses say they can smell the smoke 'all over Causeway Bay' as emergency services cordon off surrounding areas.

The shopping centre, including the basement car park, have been undergoing renovation works over the past several months.

Scaffolding has surrounded the lower floors of the building which is owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Shops had been vacated for renovation although restaurants situated between the sixth and 13th floors, as well as office spaces between 14 and 38, were still open.

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