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Fire escape found blocked in five-star hotel inferno, Monday April 23, 2012
Apr 23 2012, 07:01 AM
Joined: 24-December 06
Member No.: 2,491
A five-star hotel hit by a third-alarm blaze in North Point could be charged after the Fire Services Department found a blocked fire escape. The blaze broke out on the 38th floor rooftop of the 828-room Harbour Grand Hong Kong on Oil Street at 2.45am on Saturday, sending flaming debris down to the street below and on the swimming pool area, setting a canopy alight.
About 300 hotel guests were evacuated, with no injuries. Four fire officials went to the hotel to check the fire escapes yesterday. Senior station officer Wong Yiu-man said one of the five fire escapes in the hotel had been checked and tableware sets were found blocking one of the exits on the first floor, where conference rooms are located. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but there is speculation that water may have caused a short circuit in a big LED advertising display on the hotel roof.
An electrical engineer expressed concern over the LED screen, suspecting it was made of non-fire-resistant materials. Lo Kok-keung, a mechanical engineer at Polytechnic University, said it was a cause of concern because of the prevalence of LED panels on modern buildings. "It costs 50 percent less for plastic materials than those LED panels using aluminum holders for light bulbs," he said, adding flammable materials could easily catch fire. He suspected that electrical wires might have worn out, letting moisture seep in and for the screen to short-circuit. There is no relevant regulation to govern materials to be used for LED panels, he said.
The hotel's third and seventh floors were also hit. The fire was put out before 7am. Among the guests were artists from the mainland and other places who were invited to perform in a charity show in Hong Kong. They included top mainland singers Kristy Zhang Hanyun and Sa Dingding. Yesterday, water and electricity supply had not resumed in parts of the hotel. The hotel promised to offer guests a total of five free meals from Saturday to today.
The property is part of the Harbour Plaza Hotels and Resorts group, jointly owned by Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong (Holdings), both controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing.
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|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now (EST): 23rd May 2013 - 12:52 AM|