|The damage caused by the fire on September 17 near the National Children’s Hospital in Hà Nôi. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Capital’s Ba Đình District Police have started a criminal investigation into a fire near National Children’s Hospital that killed two people and damaged 20 houses on September 17.
Head of the district’s police Colonel Nguyễn Trọng Thái said there may have been fire safety violations involved in the case.
The fire broke out at about 5pm due to a suspected electrical fault on a circuit between the first and second floors of a rental house owned by Nguyễn Thế Hiệp, 71 years old. The fire spread quickly, damaging 20 houses and affecting 99 people.
On September 21, two skulls were found under a collapsed iron frame beneath the rubble. On Monday this week, police confirmed the victims were a couple who rented a room from Hiệp so they could be close to their sick baby who is being treated at the National Children’s Hospital.
Hiệp has been renting out cheap rooms for patients and caregivers for 20 years for about VNĐ15,000 (US$0.64) per night.
Local authorities have donated VNĐ263 million ($11,300 ) to families hit by the fire and VNĐ96 million ($4,100) to the next of kin.
The baby who lost her parents is still being treated at the hospital. Her treatment costs are covered by health insurance and the hospital has pledged to pay for any additional expenses. — VNS