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120 firefighters tackle blaze at luxury London hotel

Smoke rises from a building in Knightsbridge, central London, as London Fire Brigade responded to a call of a fire in this upmarket location on June 6. (AP)

A fire broke out at London’s luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel on Wednesday, with dozens of firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze that pumped thick smoke high into the air. The 12-storey hotel was evacuated and crowds quickly built up outside as around 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines tackled the blaze on the roof.

The five-star hotel completed what it called the “most extensive restoration in its 115-year history” only last week, after nearly two years of work. With almost 200 rooms, the hotel is located near Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, an upmarket area of central London. Firefighters were called to the blaze at 3:55 pm (1455 GMT), and were expected to continue working into the night. “The smoke from this large fire was very visible across central London,” said fire brigade station manager Pam Oparaocha.

“Firefighters are working extremely hard to bring the fire under control. Crews wearing breathing apparatus are carrying out a search inside the building. “Once the fire has been brought under control fire investigators will take over to establish how the blaze started.” A spokesman for the hotel said they would provide an update as soon as they could. (AFP)

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