Hanoi apartment fire kills 56

By Staff reporters   September 13, 2023 | 04:42 am PT
Hanoi apartment fire kills 56
Medical staff transport a fire victim out of an apartment building in Hanoi's Thanh Xuan District on Sep. 13, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
Fifty-six people died and 37 were injured in a fire at an apartment block in Hanoi late Tuesday evening.

Among the dead victims were 10 children. Most victims were dead on scene while others succumbed in hospitals.

Hanoi police on Wednesday afternoon arrested the building owner Nghiem Quang Minh, 44, to investigate whether he violated fire safety regulations. Initial investigation found Minh's 10-story house had breached his construction permit in 2015 which allowed him to build a 6-story one.

The fire broke out at around 11 p.m. Tuesday at a 10-story house divided into rooms for rent for more than 40 families in an alley off Khuong Ha Street in Thanh Xuan District.

Many residents had to jump off the building to save their lives while others ran to the rooftop to ask for help.

The fire was contained after 45 minutes. Firefighters managed to rescue 70 people and sent 54 of them to hospitals.

Of the 56 dead bodies, 39 have been identified.

The police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Hanoi authorities had provided VND37 million ($1,531) in support for the family of each deceased victim and VND12.4 million for each person injured.

The city will also support students and workers who rent or share apartment at the building each with VND1.5 million per month for 6 months.

People injured in the fire who have to be treated at the hospitals are fully covered.

This is the fire with the largest number of casualties in recent years in Vietnam. In September 2022, a fire at a karaoke bar in Binh Duong left 32 people dead.

In November 2016, a karaoke bar in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District caught fire and spread to three neighboring houses, killing 13.

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