13 dead in Vietnam karaoke fire
A fire that ripped through a karaoke bar killed 13 people and injured two police officers in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, an official said on Wednesday.
The blaze erupted on Tuesday afternoon in the multi-storey building in commercial Cau Giay district and spread to other floors and adjacent buildings, according to local official The Chung.
Photos showed plumes of smoke billowing out of the building as firefighters in cranes doused the flames, with cars and motorbikes outside also burning. "Hundreds of firemen and police officers were mobilised to extinguish the fire," said Chung.
He added the two injured police officers were being treated at a local hospital.
On Wednesday, crowds looked on as officials inspected the blackened building and its gutted entrance, with charred motorbikes and other wreckage spilling onto the sidewalk.
"I was carrying my stuff when I saw the fire spread over to two or three next-door buildings before I saw fire trucks come in. It was terrible. They did not have enough water to extinguish the fire," said Do Thi Kha, 77, a food vendor in the area.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered police to investigate the cause of the fire and "seriously punish wrongdoing", according to the government's official website. He also asked local authorities to inspect karaoke bars and restaurants for fire safety protocols and equipment.