|Rescuers access An Phú Karaoke in the southern province of Bình Dương to rescue people trapped in the fire that broke out on Tuesday evening. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked ministries and localities to strengthen management and inspections of karaoke parlours, emphasising that venues failing to meet fire prevention and control regulations would be suspended.
The move comes after the fatal karaoke bar fire on Tuesday that claimed 33 lives and injured dozens in Thuận An City, the southern province of Bình Dương.
According to the Government Office’s announcement citing the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Public Security has been asked to take drastic measures to ensure fire safety at karaoke parlours.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have been asked to review granting operating licences to karaoke parlours.
Inspections of karaoke venues are also planned, as are recommendations to improve the licence granting and propose regulations on the valid time of the licence.
The licence granting process must pay more attention to fire safety criteria. In addition, stricter sanctions on karaoke bar operators are being considered.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade was asked to co-operate with Việt Nam Electricity to take measures for power safety management at karaoke parlours.
The ministry was also asked to tighten management on advertising and the sale of alcohol at these venues.
The Ministry of Construction will direct localities in assessing and granting construction licences to buildings required to meet fire safety.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will tighten management over staff and entertainment activities at karaoke bars to avoid social evils.
Localities were asked to inspect all karaoke parlours operating in their areas.
All karaoke parlours must have a second emergency exit through a balcony, roof or stairs.
On Thursday, Bình Dương Police launched a criminal investigation into the fire at An Phú Karaoke in Thuận An City, said Deputy Director of Bình Dương Police Nguyễn Thanh Điệp.
A total of 32 people were killed inside An Phú Karaoke. Another died later in hospital from injuries sustained jumping out of the window to escape the inferno.
Initial investigations suggest an electrical short circuit inside a karaoke room started the fire at around 8.30 pm Tuesday. At that time, about 60 customers and employees were inside the karaoke parlour.
Karaoke An Phú, at 166C 1A Street, An Phú Ward, Thuận An City, Bình Dương, is a 30-room karaoke service built on an area of 500 square metres. It was opened six years ago and has been inspected for fire safety three times in 2019, 2021 and 2022. It passed every time. — VNS