A huge blaze tore across the roof of one of London’s top hotels Wednesday, just days after it announced the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation project.
More than 100 firefighters were sent to tackle the fire at the five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel, in the exclusive Knightsbridge district of the UK capital.
Plumes of thick, black smoke were seen billowing into the air above Hyde Park, as traffic in the area was brought to a standstill.
There were no immediate reports of any casualties. The hotel group said it believed that all guests had been evacuated.
First reports of the fire emerged just before 4 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET). Two hours later, the London Fire Brigade said that 120 firefighters were still working to bring the fire under control and that the fire service was likely to remain on the scene for the rest of the evening.
The hotel had recently been undergoing a major refurbishment of its 181 guest rooms and suites. In a press release announcing the completion of the project last week, the Mandarin said the rooms were were “now more luxurious and comfortable than ever before.” The largest suites, due to launch in July, offered “expansive views of leafy Hyde Park and the London skyline.”
A Mandarin hotel group spokeswoman said that work on the building was still being carried out. While there were some guests staying in the hotel, it is believed they had “all been evacuated,” she said.
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SOURCE: CNN, Judith Vonberg and Gianluca Mezzofiore