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HONG KONG, HongKong [HK]
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Big fire in Kowloon District, Hong Kong kills 9 and injures 30

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Nine people were killed and more than 30 others were injured in a fire that lasted over seven hours in downtown Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government’s Criminal Investigation Department has been involved in the case as arson was suspected.

According to the latest press release by the government, 33 people were injured in the incident while the number reported by the local media was 34, six of which were in critical situation.

The blaze started at around 04:40 a.m. local time at hawker stalls on Fa Yuen Street (also known as the Sneaker Street) in Mong Kok on Kowloon Peninsula, and then spread to the neighborhood. It was not finished until 12:28 p.m. local time. The fire was largely put out by 12 jets and 12 breathing apparatus teams.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the possibility of arson can not be ruled out, said a spokeswoman from the Mong Kok police department.

The government will try every effort to investigate the incident, she said.

In December last year, a similar fire broke out close to the scene, causing several people injured and many hawker stalls burned to the ground.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang spoke to reporters after visiting the injured, including a one-year-old child, at Kwong Wah Hospital. He said that fire-safety measures to prevent such a tragedy from reoccurring were inadequate.

Source: XINHUA

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