PM orders investigation into fire that killed 14 in Hà Nội

May 24, 2024 - 12:00
The fire broke out just before 1am at a rented building in a narrow alleyway on Trung Kính Street.
Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà and Hà Nội officials visit the scene of the tragedy on Friday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has signed an official dispatch ordering urgent relief for those affected by the fatal fire in Cầu Giấy District early Friday as well as an investigation into the cause of the tragedy.

The fire broke out at 12.46am at a rented building in a narrow alleyway on Trung Kính Street, killing at least 14 people. Seven others were rescued from the scene.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control within 10 minutes, and it was completely extinguished at 1.26am.

Deputy PM Trần Hồng Hà has been assigned to handle the case, while the Hà Nội People’s Committee is tasked with providing support to the victims’ families and working with the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) during the investigation.

The document also stressed compliance with fire prevention and safety regulations. Ministerial and municipal-level leaders must review fire safety conditions at business establishments and rented buildings and report to the PM by July 30.

Awareness campaigns, especially on fire safety, fire evacuation, search and rescue, must be stepped up, especially at buildings at elevated fire risks, given the hot weather.

The gate leading to the building, pictured at 6.45am on Friday. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên

At the National Assembly meeting on Friday morning, NA Deputy Chairman Nguyễn Khắc Định offered condolences to the victims and their families and stressed vigilance for fire safety among the public.

Deputy NA Chairman Trần Quang Phương also led a working group to the scene of the incident and hospitals where victims are being treated, alongside high-level officials from the public security ministry and Hà Nội's city government.

Praising firefighting forces for their quick actions, Deputy PM Hà urged an investigation into the case to identify the cause of the incident and any responsible parties, as well as handle any violations that occurred.

He also emphasised the need for compliance with fire safety regulations and regular inspections into high-risk establishments, such as smaller apartment buildings and rented houses with multiple residents. Relevant laws must also be strictly enforced, he noted.

Speaking to Báo Chính phủ (Government News), Director of Transport Hospital Dr Bùi Sỹ Tuấn Anh said that the facility is treating six victims of the fire.

Five of them are no longer in critical condition and one elderly patient remains under intensive care.

Six victims injured in the fire are receiving treatment at the Transport Hospital in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuyết Mai

According to a press release issued by the Hà Nội People’s Committee on Friday morning, the city will offer the victims’ families VNĐ50 million (US$2,000) for each fatality and VNĐ30 million ($1,200) for each injured person within the day.

The fatal fire on Friday broke out at a rented building inside a narrow alleyway about 200m away from the front of Trung Kính Street, consisting of a two-storey block, a three-storey block and an open yard for parking. There was an electric vehicle repair shop on the first floor.

Destroyed vehicles in the parking lot below the building after the fire. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên

According to resident registrations, the house had 10 rooms rented out to a total of 17 people. The house owner’s family of seven was also living in the residence.

This is the deadliest fire incident since the tragic fire that killed 56 people in a 'mini-apartment' building on Khương Hạ Street, Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội last September. The fire was determined to have ignited from an electrical failure happening to a gasoline-powered vehicle at the parking lot at the first floor of the building. — VNS