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HCMC looks to move, improve chemical shops

Update: March, 12/2015 - 08:34
The city authority has instructed the fire department to identify the shops that do not meet fire safety norms and recommend measures to move or improve them. — File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The People's Committee of HCM City has ordered related agencies to draft plans to relocate or upgrade shops selling inflammable chemicals to ensure they meet safety conditions.

The city authority has instructed the fire department to identify the shops that do not meet fire safety norms and recommend measures to move or improve them.

The relevant agencies have been asked to focus on crowded places like markets and high-rise buildings, on chemical manufacturing, trading and processing facilities and on shops selling chemicals and other inflammable goods.

The city administration has also instructed the police to co-ordinate with the fire brigade to improve fire safety management, ensure better control over chemical facilities and arms depots and keep safe distances between these facilities and residential areas and production facilities.

The construction and transport departments and the Sai Gon Water Supply Co. have been ordered to regulate traffic in case of fires and supply sufficient water for firefighting.

They and the fire brigade also need to inspect high-rises to advise on preventing fires and installing fire escapes in accordance with the laws.

HCM City has suffered from a number of blazes and explosions that caused extensive human and property losses. Last year it reported 301 fires and explosions in which 26 people were killed and 27 others injured.

They included an explosion at Dang Huynh Luan Co in District 12 that killed three people and injured four, and an explosion on Ly Thuong Kiet Street in District 10 that left four dead.

According to relevant agencies, the failure to abide by fire safety regulations by individuals and businesses was one of the main reasons for those accidents.

Similarly, a fire at a shop selling chemicals and equipment on Nguyen Trai Street in District 5 killed seven people and destroyed the house and goods stored in it.

The situation could have been even worse since many shops sell chemicals in residential areas, posing a constant threat of fire and explosion.

According to the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, there are 640 facilities manufacturing or trading dangerous chemicals such as those used for industrial production and in the health sector, most of them located near Kim Bien Market in District 5. — VNS

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