|A scene of the blaze in Hà Nội’s karaoke lounge. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội police will investigate and prosecute those responsible for starting the fire in a karaoke bar in the city’s Cầu Giấy District on Tuesday, which claimed 13 lives.
Đoàn Duy Khương, director of the department, said the police are investigating to determine what rules were violated that resulted in the tragedy.
At 1.30pm on Tuesday, a fire broke out in a karaoke lounge on Trần Thái Tông Street. The flames spread quickly to the adjacent buildings. It took the firefighters more than four hours to stamp out the fire. As many as 13 people were killed after getting trapped inside the buildings.
Witnesses said a group of welders were making an advertising board for the karaoke bar, and that the fire may have started at the spot.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has 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.
The department of fire prevention and control, rescue and salvage, under the public security ministry, has ordered all authorities in provinces and cities to review fire safety measures at entertainment venues, focusing on crowded places with a high risk of fires and explosions, such as karaoke lounges, bars, pubs and restaurants. Those who fail to meet safety regulations should be banned from operating businesses, it said. — VNS