Vietnam karaoke bar owner arrested after fire kills 32

Vietnamese authorities have arrested the owner of a karaoke bar where a fire killed 32 people earlier this month, police said on Saturday.

The fire engulfed a three-storey entertainment venue north of Ho Chi Minh City’s shopping center nine days ago.

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Seventeen people were injured, many with broken bones after the flames forced them to jump from the roof, police said.

Binh Duong provincial police confirmed in a statement on Saturday that bar owner Le Anh Xuan, 42, was arrested a day earlier and faces criminal charges related to violating fire prevention regulations.

He will be held for four months while the investigation continues, police added.

While 15 of the injured have been discharged from hospital, two of the most seriously injured are still receiving medical treatment.

The bodies of the 32 people killed have been handed over to their families.

About 60 people were inside the 30-room bar when the fire broke out.

Authorities initially blamed the blaze on an electrical short, but said the bar had met all fire safety standards during checks for the past three years.

Vietnam has seen several deadly fires in recent years, including two at karaoke bars in Hanoi, prompting the prime minister to order an inspection of all high-risk locations.

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