All mini-apartment blocks to be checked after tragic fire: Public Security Ministry

September 15, 2023 - 06:00
Local police are told to coordinate with relevant agencies to conduct inspections of fire safety for mini-apartments and accommodation establishments with a high density of people.
Representatives of the Việt Nam Red Cross Society visited a victim of the tragic fire at a local hospital in Hà Nội on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Public Security has instructed local police departments to collaborate with agencies to inspect fire safety in mini apartment blocks and high-occupancy lodgings, aiming to swiftly identify and rigorously address any breaches.

This directive was issued on Wednesday evening following a devastating fire in a complex on Khương Hạ Street, Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội, the previous Tuesday at midnight, which resulted in the deaths of 56 individuals and injuries to 37.

The initiative is in place to bolster the efficacy of national fire prevention and response management by the State.

The ministry highlighted that the Party Secretariat, Government, and Prime Minister have disseminated numerous documents urging all tiers and sectors to rigorously enforce fire safety regulations. Nonetheless, implementation, particularly at the grassroots, has exhibited lapses, as noted by the ministry.

Subsequently, the ministry has directed local police units to partner with media outlets, promoting fire safety awareness during peak viewing hours on local TV channels, over public announcement systems in residential zones, and through group messaging platforms on Zalo and Facebook.

Furthermore, the ministry stated that local police departments are to provide guidance on fire-fighting and evacuation procedures to all households and individuals residing or working in mini-flats or densely populated accommodation establishments.

The ministry tasked the Fire Prevention, Fighting and Rescue Police Department to collaborate with units under the Ministry of Construction. Their joint objective is to present a preliminary assessment covering eight months of executing Directive No 01 from the Prime Minister, focused on bolstering fire prevention and response in the current context.

Simultaneously, this department is expected to suggest immediate strategies to the Government for augmenting fire prevention in mini-flats and accommodation establishments with a high concentration of residents.

The departmental leaders are mandated to oversee and be accountable to the ministry for the enforcement outcomes from the localities.

Support for victims

Following the guidance of Hà Nội's People's Committee to address the aftermath of the blaze on Khương Hạ Street, Thanh Xuân District on Tuesday midnight, the city's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs visited local hospitals on Thursday to extend support and uplift the spirits of the victims.

From the city's budget, the department contributed VNĐ10 million (US$410) to the families of each deceased victim and VNĐ5 million ($205) to every injured individual.

Furthermore, the city's Children's Sponsorship Fund donated an extra VNĐ5 million to families who lost a child in the tragedy, and VNĐ10 million to those with a child injured in the incident.

On Wednesday evening, Lê Đình Hùng, the deputy chairman of the Hà Nội Labour Confederation, visited Military Hospital 103 to offer aid to the families of union members affected by the fire. Hùng conveyed that the confederation had set aside VNĐ10 million for the kin of each deceased victim and VNĐ5 million for each injured individual from the confederation's own funds.

By Thursday morning, the city’s Education and Training Union had raised nearly VNĐ180 million ($7,400) in donations for the fire victims. The education sector mentioned that fundraising initiatives for the affected individuals would be initiated in local schools in the coming days.

Trọng's condolence letter

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng on Thursday sent a letter of condolence to the Party Committee, Government and People of Hà Nội after the tragic fire.

On behalf of the Party and State leaders, Trọng expressed his deep sympathy, shared the loss and pain, and sent condolences to the families of the victims.

He also welcomed and praised the forces, local people and authorities of Thanh Xuân District for urgently rescuing the victims, minimising human and property damages during the fire.

He told all relevant agencies to urgently overcome the consequences, give priority to treating the injured, have timely policies to help the families of the victims.

He also said the capital administration needed to seriously review and learn deeply from the incident.

The authorities must investigate and clarify the responsibilities of relevant organisations and individuals and strictly handle violations in accordance with the provisions of law.

He asked the Prime Minister to direct the strengthening of fire prevention and fighting throughout the country, providing guidance and widespread dissemination on mass media so that people can increase their vigilance and respond promptly when a fire or an explosion occurs. — VNS