23 dead and 11 injured in Vietnam karaoke fire
The fire engulfed the second floor of the building on Tuesday night, trapping customers and staff as dense smoke filled the staircase and blocked the fire escape, according to reports.
Many huddled on a balcony to escape the flames, which grew rapidly as they caught the wooden interior, while others were forced to jump from the building, state media added.
Photos showed plumes of smoke billowing from the bar – located in a crowded residential area of Thuan An town, north of the commercial center of Ho Chi Minh City in Binh Duong province – as firefighters on cranes were trying to put out the fire.
“We are still looking for other victims but the toll so far is 23 dead and 11 injured,” Mai Hung Dung, a senior Communist Party official in Binh Duong, told AFP.
Authorities had previously put the death toll at 12.
“Many people ran outside through the main entrance, but many more couldn’t stand the heat and jumped out, breaking their hands and legs,” Sang said.
Rescuers searched throughout the night for anyone trapped in the 30-room bar, according to state media.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday ordered a new inspection of high-risk venues, especially karaoke bars.