Hanoi deadly apartment fire: Police investigate government officials

By Pham Du   October 2, 2023 | 10:54 pm PT
Hanoi deadly apartment fire: Police investigate government officials
The aftermath of a fire at a mini apartment building in Hanoi's Thanh Xuan District that killed 56 people in September 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
The police are expanding the scope of the investigation into the Hanoi mini apartment fire that killed 56 to determine whether government officials can be charged for the incident.

At a press meet on Monday with the Ministry of Public Security, Nguyen Thanh Tung, vice director of the Hanoi police, said the case would be processed "without any exception."

Following the deadly fire, which took place at an apartment block in Thanh Xuan District on the night of September 12, the Hanoi Party Committee began an inspection to look for violations at Thanh Xuan District Standing Party Committee, Thanh Xuan Police Party Committee and Khuong Dinh Ward Party Committee covering the 2015-2020 and 2020-2025 terms.

Nguyen Minh Khuong, deputy head of the firefighting police department, said evaluations of fire safety standards would only be applied for apartment buildings of at least five floors and individual houses would be subjected to their own fire safety standards.

However, several mini apartment buildings sought approval as individual houses with under six floors, yet built additional floors anyway.

"For such apartments, fire safety management would fall under the responsibility of People’s Committees at wards and communes," Khuong said.

The deadly mini apartment fire in Thanh Xuan was determined to be caused by short-circuited batteries of a petrol motorbike in the basement.

The construction approval for the building was issued by Thanh Xuan District in March 2015 as an individual house with six floors. However, the investor of the building turned it into a 10-floor mini apartment building, dividing it into 45 mini apartments.

The investor, Nghiem Quang Minh, was detained on September 13 for four months to be investigated for fire safety violations.

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