Family trying to repatriate body of South African killed in house fire in Vietnam - report

2020-01-02 19:46
File photo: Tourists on a beach on Phu Quoc island in southern Vietnam. (Hoang Dinh Nam, AFP)

File photo: Tourists on a beach on Phu Quoc island in southern Vietnam. (Hoang Dinh Nam, AFP)

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Loved ones of a South African woman who died of smoke inhalation during a fire at her holiday rental home in Vietnam are working to get her body back home, according to a report on Thursday.

Alana Lens, 33, was killed over the weekend on Phu Quoc Island off the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang.

"The SA Embassy in Hanoi and Dirco are rendering consular assistance to the family," the Department of International Relations previously told News24.

READ: Dirco names South African killed in a housefire in Vietnam

Lens' former husband, Wynand who is currently in Vietnam, told the Cape Times he was working with the embassy to get her body home and was using online software to communicate with the police because of language barriers.

He said the homeowner had said the fire was caused by bad wiring or an electric short-circuit and that Lens had been sleeping at the time.

A website called tuoitrenews.vn reported that police officers said Lens and another woman, believed to be Russian, died when flames engulfed the house following an explosion at around 02:30 on Saturday in Duong Dong Town. 

The report said although the fire was put out within 40 minutes, the house was destroyed.

Five others were hospitalised.

The website said two of the injured people were also foreigners.

Lens' aunt, Annelle Schvartzkopff, told the Cape Times her niece was a free and adventurous spirit who had a joy for life.

Friends and family took to social media to share their messages of condolences.

‎Katja Christensen Ratcliffe said: "The two of you will always be in my heart. A beautiful and kind young woman, Alana Christine Lens you shall be missed on this earth. Soar high in the heavens and keep shining, beautiful and bright soul."

- Compiled by Jenna Etheridge

Read more on:    vietnam
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