The inspections will focus on means of escape and existing fire hazards
By Zen Soo, The Associated Press
Hong Kong authorities will inspect 2,500 older residential buildings after a deadly fire killed seven people in what an elected official said may have been an unlicensed restaurant operating in an apartment.
The fire and building departments will aim to complete the review by year-end, a government news release said Monday evening. The inspection will cover buildings at least 60 years old and include those that are part-residential, part-commercial.
“In light of the risks exposed by this fire accident, I have asked the (fire services and building departments) to further step up inspections to eliminate serious fire safety threats to safeguard people’s lives and property,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said.
The Sunday night fire killed seven people and injured 11 others. Ten people remain hospitalized, seven in critical condition, the news release said. The dead and injured range in age from 8 to 48 years old.
The apartment where the fire started may have been operating as an unlicensed restaurant, according to the area’s district council member, Leslie Chan. He said the victims were from the city’s Nepalese community.
The building lacked a sprinkler system and people were trapped in the back of the kitchen, Fire Services Department officer Cheung Kwong-yuen said.
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Image: Vincent Yu, AP