Vietnam’s deadliest karaoke bar fire kills more than 30 people

karaoke bar fire
  • A fire broke out at a karaoke complex in southern Vietnam on Tuesday night, killing 17 men and 15 women, according to the Binh Duong provincial police.
  • The initial cause of the fire came from an electrical short circuit, according to Binh Duong authorities. The incident remains under investigation.
  • Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged the country to ensure safety standards at karaoke bars and other facilities prone to fires.
  • The incident marks Vietnam’s deadliest karaoke bar fire since 2016, when 13 people died in a blaze at another karaoke lounge in Hanoi.

A fire broke out at a karaoke complex in southern Vietnam, trapping customers and staff and killing at least 32 people. 

The fire emerged on the second floor of the three-story An Phu karaoke bar near Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday night, killing 17 men and 15 women, according to the Binh Duong provincial police.

Staff tried to extinguish the flames, but the blaze had quickly spread through over 400 square meters of the second and third floors. Witnesses saw the fire spread across foam soundproofing and wood paneling, blocking exit routes. 

Many of those trapped had crowded onto a balcony to escape the fire. Some reportedly jumped about 26 feet to the ground from the second floor.

Around 60 people were in the bar when the fire broke out, according to the public security ministry. Several victims were found dead in a restroom in the establishment.

“When the fire broke out, I was so panicked and ran for safety and can’t remember how it happened,” a witness, identified as Quynh, was quoted as saying. 

The source of the fire was an electrical short circuit, according to Binh Duong authorities. The incident remains under investigation. 

“Because the rooms are closed and too hot, gaining access is still difficult,” Mai Hung Dung, deputy chairman of Binh Duong province, told South China Morning Post. “The walls have to be broken through. We can’t confirm when [the rescue work] will end.”

As karaoke is particularly popular in Vietnam, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged the country to ensure safety standards at karaoke bars and other facilities prone to fires.

The incident marks Vietnam’s deadliest karaoke bar fire since 2016, when 13 people died in a blaze at another karaoke lounge in Hanoi.

 

 

Featured Image via South China Morning Post

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