Vietnam: 12 dead, 11 seriously injured in karaoke fire, official says

A fire in southern Vietnam engulfed a karaoke bar on September 6, killing 12 and injuring nearly 11. The toll was confirmed by a local official in conversation with AFP. The fire ravaged the second and third floors of the building.

In the photos, firefighters mounted on cranes tried to put out the fire in the bar, located in the commercial center of Ho Chi Minh City.

State media reported that customers and staff were trapped as thick smoke filled the staircase. Reports said many people huddled together on a balcony to escape the blaze, which then escalated as furniture caught fire.

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Nguyen Thanh Tam, a senior communist party official in the city, told AFP: “Rescue teams are still searching for victims at the scene. The cause of the fire has not been determined and the subject of an investigation.

A witness living next to the building said that when the vehicles arrived on the scene, nearly 40 people were trapped inside. Many people came out through the main gate, but many others collapsed from the heat and injured themselves.

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The blaze was the deadliest since 2018, when a fire broke out in an apartment, claiming the lives of nearly 13 people. This fire prompted an assessment of fire safety protocols in nightclubs and bars.

Although karaoke is popular in Vietnam, concerns have been raised about inadequate security policies.

Pham Minh Chinh, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, on Wednesday September 7, ordered the second review of high-risk venues, including karaoke bars.

(With agency contributions)

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