Nearly 100 firefighters have been called to a fire on the roof of a luxury hotel in an upmarket area of central London.
London Fire Brigade said 15 engines and 97 firefighters and officers had been sent to the scene at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, in Knightsbridge, as huge plumes of thick black smoke could be seen rising into the sky.
The 12-storey Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park completed the “most extensive restoration in its 115-year history”, according to a statement published by owner Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in May.
All 181 bedrooms and suites are “now more luxurious and comfortable than ever before” and the building’s “iconic facade was revitalised”, the company said.
The hotel is located between Hyde Park and the Knightsbridge shopping district, which includes Harrods.
Eyewitnesses posted videos on social media showing the large column of smoke rising from the top of the building and people in nearby Hyde Park turning their heads towards the sky.
One user called Arthur said: “Looks really bad. Prayers to those inside.”
While another, Penelope Evans said: “My wishes to anyone is are hurt or effected by this.”
An LFB statement said: “The Brigade was called at 3.55pm. Fire crews from Chelsea, Kensington, Hammersmith, Battersea and other surrounding fire stations are at the scene.
“The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.”
Transport for London said the Sloane Street entrance of the Knightsbridge Tube station had been closed due to the fire and customers were advised to leave by Harrods.
London Ambulance Service and Metropolitan Police are also attending the scene.