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Hà Nội police announce karaoke fire causes

Update: November, 11/2016 - 11:07
The capital city police have confirmed carelessness by a welder during his work on a billboard as one of the main causes of a karaoke bar fire that killed a total of 13 people earlier this month. — Photo khampha.vn

HÀ NỘI – The capital city police have confirmed carelessness by a welder during his work on a billboard as one of the main causes of a karaoke bar fire that killed a total of 13 people earlier this month.

The confirmation was part of the police’s initial investigation results announced on late Wednesday about the fire, which occurred at 1.30pm on November 1 at No 68 Trần Thái Tông Street in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District.

Police said the welder was working on a billboard covering the bar’s second floor facade when he caused some sparks to shoot up the bar’s walls and dropped on to the floor.

As the bar’s walls were covered with inflamable materials, they caught fire immediately. The flames spread quickly through the whole building, according to the police.

The bar was also built without any emergency exit on the second floor. Thus, most of the customers who were hiring a karaoke room could not get out and were killed mostly due to suffocation before being burnt.

It took more than seven hours for firefighters to stamp out the fire.

The young welder later was found to be a free-lancer working without any professional licence.

Nguyễn Thị Diệu Linh, 30, owner of the bar from Hà Đông District’s Văn Quán Ward, said she hired the building for ten years from July this year to July 2026 to run a karaoke service business.

Linh then signed a contract with the Thiện An Phú Investment Join-stock Company based in Hoàn Kiếm District’s Phúc Tân Ward to design and install fire fighting accessories for the bar.

The design and installation plan for fire fighting was licensed by the local police on October 13, and the company started to implement it right away.

By October 31, about 90 per cent of the plan had been finished, except a connection for the operation of the fire fighting system, the investigation result revealed.

The implementation of the bar’s firefighting system plan had not totally been completed, but the bar owner still let customers use the room on the second floor on the day when the fire occurred.

The Hà Nội police said they would prosecute those responsible for the deadly fire when they receive a final results of the investigation.

Following such serious damage, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc instructed the city police to determine the cause of the blaze and deal strictly with any violations. All karaoke bars and restaurants in the city that fail to meet fire prevention and safety regulations must be closed immediately, he said. — VNS

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