|The Nam Tu Lien District People's Committee in southern Ha Noi has ordered a thorough check of ventilation systems in all underground floors of commerical buildings. — Photo zing
HA NOI (VNS) — The Nam Tu Lien District People's Committee in southern Ha Noi has ordered a thorough check of ventilation systems in all underground floors of commerical buildings.
The order came after 19 people passed out at Big C Supermarket on March 14 after inhaling motorbike exhaust fumes from vehicles leaving a big concert. They were all taken to hospital.
The incident happened when fumes accumulated from hundreds of motorbikes in the basement parking lot of the supermarket, located under The Garden building.
Nguyen Trong Luong, deputy chairman of the district's People's Committee, said the presence of an unusually large number of people, who had gathered for a concert on Sunday night, was the main cause of the problem.
After the concert, hundreds of people on motorbikes were trying to get out at the same time. The running engines produced a large amount of carbon dioxide fumes that wafted up to the supermarket through the staircase.
Binh Minh Thang Long Real Estate Management JSC, manager of the building, signed an agreement with the district's People Committee in 2007 to comply with safety and environmental regulations.
The premises were later rented out by BigC Supermarket.
"The company, however, has not been able to show that they have strictly followed safety regulations," he said.
Ho Quoc Nguyen, director of the supermarket's public relations department, said a technical malfunction of the building's ventilation system could be the main culprit.
Deputy Chief of district police Ha Quang Thai said the police had set up a task force to investigate the incident.
Air quality will also be tested to determine air pollution levels during peak hours to help prevent similar incidents in the future.
After the incident in Ha Noi, HCM City's fire police introduced a plan to inspect commercial premises under trade centres and other public buildings to prevent similar incidents. — VNS