Smoky condo fire in Vietnam kills at least 13, injures 28

2018-03-23 12:36
Firefighters extinguish a fire in a condominium complex in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (VnExpress via AP)

Firefighters extinguish a fire in a condominium complex in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (VnExpress via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Residents startled awake by loud noise and smoke signalled for help with lit mobile phones and crawled onto cranes from their balconies to escape a fire on Friday at a large condominium complex in southern Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City. At least 13 people were killed and 28 injured, with police saying it was unclear if anyone was missing.

State media quoted the city's police and fire department as saying police rescued more than 100 residents while more than 1 000 escaped the fire themselves.

"We were sleeping when the fire alarm went off, we all rushed out to the staircases. It was very hot and dark," online newspaper VnExpress quoted condominium resident Le Thi Cam as saying.

"We were awakened by loud noise. We ran out of the apartment but there was a lot of smoke. We only had enough time to grab the mobile phone, wet some towels to cover ourselves and ran out," the newspaper quoted an unnamed male resident as saying.

The three buildings with 14 to 20 floors have more than 700 apartments. They were built six years ago in Vietnam's southern commercial hub, formerly called Saigon.

State media said most people died of suffocation or jumping from high floors.

The official Vietnam News Agency said more than 200 firefighters worked more than an hour to put the fire under control.

The fire started in the basement garage, with state media saying doors that separated the garage from the upper floors should have been shut, but they were opened, which allowed the smoke to rise to the upper floors.

Maj. Gen. Phan Anh Minh, the city's deputy police chief, told state media that the fire could have started from a motorbike's electrical system but the possibility of explosions has not been ruled out.

In 2002, a fire at a trade center in downtown Ho Chi Minh City killed 60 people in one of Vietnam's worst fires.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    vietnam

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.