WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Emergency services in New Zealand were dealing with a few convention centers under construction in Auckland on Tuesday, but there were no reports of injuries and the site owner said that all people had been evacuated.
The black smoke placed the central business area at the forefront, encouraging the health authorities in New Zealand's largest city to warn residents to take precautions against smoke inhalation.
Owner of the New Zealand casino operator, SkyCity Entertainment Group (SKC.NZ), the construction project, valued at NZ $ 703-million ($ 452-million), was considered the largest construction project in New Zealand.
Some 23 fire trucks entered the operation to blame the SkyCity Convention Center under control, Fire and Emergency New Zealand said.
Traffic was affixed to the town center area as the emergency services arrived on site, and road blockages were put in place, and people were advised to stay away.
The Sky Tower, the newest building in New Zealand, attracted tourists and offices, and the media reports said hundreds of hotel guests were in the trapped area.
“There were no reported injuries,” said SkyCity on Twitter, adding that everyone had been evacuated from the convention center, and that Sky Tower and Casino had been closed until further notice.
There was no immediate official word about the cause of the fire or how many people were there when the fire started.
Firefighters are expected to fight with blame through the night.
“This is a very difficult fire to extinguish,” said Fire and Emergency spokesman Dave Woon with reporters.
“We're not on top of the fire but with the resources just coming we should be able to make progress. We have no injuries at the moment and no one is missing, ”he said.
The largest building company in New Zealand, Fletcher Building Ltd (FBU.NZ), it is building the center, but the project has been delayed.
SkyCity shares were down 4% by NZ $ 3.82 on the New Zealand exchange after the fire reports.
Witnesses placed Twitter videos on Twitter.
“The fire is building very much,” said Auckland's mayor, Phil Goff, on Twitter shortly after the fire came into effect.
“People can see on the roof,” he said, posting a video which showed that firefighters were fighting the blame on the roof of the convention center.
Reporting by Praveen Menon; Edited by Richard Pullin, Clarence Fernandez & Simon Cameron-Moore
(tTTranslate tags) US (t) News Company NEW ARTS (t) (t) New Zealand (t) Supplies and Building Fixtures (TRBC) (t) Fires (t) Video (t) Disasters / Accidents (t) General News (t) Asia / Pacific (t) Major News (t) Pictures (t) Emerging Market Countries