|Three defendants at the court on Monday morning. — Photo zing.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The People’s Court of Hà Nội on Monday morning opened an appeal to charge three defendants in a fire, killing 13 people, at a nine-storey karaoke shop in Trần Thái Tông Street in late 2016.
The defendants include 32-year-old Nguyễn Diệu Linh, the shop owner, and two welders Hoàng Văn Tuấn, 25, and Lê Thị Thì, 56.
Following the indictment, Linh ran the karaoke shop without a business licence and verification of the fire-fighting system of the shop by authorised agencies when the fire occured.
Linh had hired Tuấn and Thì to weld an iron frame on the karaoke shop’s ceiling on November 1, 2016. When Tuấn was welding a connection between two points of the iron frame, it suddenly caused a spark resulting in a fire that quickly spread to other areas of the shop. Tuấn flouted safety regulations as he did not use protective tools during the welding. The fire worsened when it came in contact with flammable material in the shop.
It quickly reduced the shop to ashes and spread to the three neighbouring houses, killing 12 customers and one staff member.
The local fire-fighting team took more than seven hours to put out the fire.
The previous hearing in January was suspended for further investigation on another person named Nguyễn Hữu Long, who was suspected to be involved in the case. Moreover, the owners of the three houses that were burnt down required authorised agencies to re-assess the damage for more compensation.— VNS