Police are investigating a suspected arson attack just after midnight yesterday, which destroyed 32 vehicles, including coaches, trucks, tractors a car and a motor cycle parked at an outdoor car park

in Lai Chi Kok.

No casualties were reported following the fire, which took more than 100 firemen more than two hours to bring under control.

Twenty-three fire engines and two ambulances were sent to the scene.

The fire is believed to have started in the car park, located in an industrial area near Container Port Road South, about 400 metres away from residential properties, at about 0.05am.

Some local media reports said sleeping residents were woken up by several loud explosions as the fire spread from vehicle to vehicle.

One resident said he had heard five loud explosions over a 20-minute period.

The same reports suggested the fire had started inside a recycling bin, containing polystyrene foam, located inside the car park. The flames then spread to other recycled items near the bins, including numerous bamboo baskets, before setting fire to the vehicles inside the 80 square-metre car park.

Glowing red flames and billowing smoke could be seen coming from the blazing vehicles by residents in the nearby areas of Mei Foo and Lai King.

Hong Kong Fire Services Department said the severity of the blaze led them to upgrade the incident to a No 3 alarm at 0.17am. The fire was finally brought under control at 2.10am.

Police said the cause of the fire was suspicious and Kwai Tsing Regional Crime Unit, which is now investigating the incident, said that arson was suspected.

Several drivers returned to their vehicles in the car park yesterday morning on their way to work, only to find they had been destroyed by the blaze.

One driver, who works for a logistics company, told local media that most of the company’s 10 tractors that were left in the car park overnight had been destroyed by the fire.

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