2 dead after 3-storey colonial house collapses in Hanoi

By VnExpress   August 4, 2016 | 09:24 am GMT+7
2 dead after 3-storey colonial house collapses in Hanoi
A view of the site where a colonial house on Hanoi's Cua Bac Street collapsed at around 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

The accident took place while construction on the next-door building was underway.

Two people have died after an old house in Hanoi collapsed on early Thursday morning.

The house on Cua Bac Street in Ba Dinh District (to the northwest of Hanoi's Old Quarter), currently used as a private business premise, crashed down at around 3:30 a.m. Construction work was being carried out in the next-door building.

The fire brigade and ambulances arrived at the scene at 6 a.m., and rescue operations are still underway.

District police have managed to rescue four people who were rushed to Saint Paul Hospital. Two others who escaped the chaos before the rescue team arrived were taken to the local police station for further investigation.

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A victim is carried out of the rubble. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do

The authorities are evacuating people from neighboring houses after cracks have been discovered on the wall of an adjacent house.

According to neighbors, there were as many as eight employees, including six men and two women, in the house, which was built during the French colonial period.

“My family were all asleep when we were woken up by a loud rumble," a witness said. "It was like a bomb. I ran out of my house to see the collapse.” 

The investigation continues.

Last September, a 110-year-old villa also collapsed in downtown Hanoi, leaving two dead and six injured. In the wake of the collapse, Hanoi officials launched large-scale inspections of the city's colonial buildings.

According to official figures, Hanoi is home to nearly 1,600 villas and properties from the French colonial era, aged from 60 to 100 years old. 

Vietnam lists these colonial villas in Hanoi as heritage buildings that are subject to protection, meaning the architecture cannot be repaired or altered in any form.

The flip side of this regulation, according to experts, is that it has hampered the overhaul process and discouraged homeowners from making any renovations.

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