Arson most probable cause for Grand Lisboa Palace fire

The fire that broke out around 7 p.m. on Friday at the construction site of the Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai may have been caused by arson.

These are the preliminary conclusions from the Fire Services (CB) who attended the call for the blaze in Cotai.

A total of 52 men supported by 14 firefighting vehicles and a 68-meter long ladder arrived at the scene a few minutes after the alarm, but it took them more than 2 hours to control the flames.

According to a CB spokesperson, the fire had started at a storage room located on the 14th floor of the building where several flammable construction materials were kept. The incident led to the evacuation of over 500 workers operating within the building at that time, but there were no reports of injuries.

CB complained to the media about the lack of fire hydrants on site as well as other difficulties in fighting the fire.

Authorities suspect that the blaze might have been intentionally caused and the case was handed to the Judiciary Police (PJ) for further investigations.

This is the third time in the last two years that the development of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) in Cotai has caught fire, this most recent incident being the most severe. For now, it is unclear whether the blaze caused severe enough  damage to delay the completion of the development, which is set to open its doors in the first half of 2018. RM

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