Taiwanese garment firm faces $6 mln loss in Vietnam's fire-ravaged plant

By Cuu Long   March 24, 2017 | 04:06 am PT
A look inside the five-storey building of Kwong Lung - Meko Company in Can Tho City, where a massive fire broke out Thursday and raged for 24 hours straight and consumed everything.

Preliminary losses are estimated at $6 million, a police officer said, citing the company's assessment.


By Friday morning, the fire that broke out inside Kwong Lung - Meko Company has been under control. Hundreds of local firefighters, who have battled the flame for more than 24 hours, are still trying to extinguish the fire completely.


Two five-storey buildings of the company have been burned down and partially collapsed. The fire is considered to be the largest ever in the southern city of Can Tho.


In the workshop, many burnt packages of feather emit smoky smell. "According to the company, the raw material loss from the fire is estimated at about $6 million, including the cargoes that were just recently imported for production," said Colonel Tran Ngoc Hanh, head of the Can Tho Public Security Department.


Broken glass, bricks and stones lie on the ground behind the left building. Many devices were damaged.


Some exterior walls collapsed. The company said the fire has not only caused serious damage to the firm, but also affected 1,300 workers. "Our company has completed the construction of a factory in Tra Noc 2 Industrial Park, which requires 800 workers. After the fire, the company will send the affected workers to the new factory," said a manager at the industrial park.


Colonel Tran Duc Dinh, deputy director of Can Tho Fire Prevention and Fighting force, said the fire last so long because the buildings' structural design has made it difficult for fire engines to approach the scene. "Since the building uses dome rooftop design, it was very difficult to reach the right angle to spray water," said Dinh. In addition, a lack of water also hindered the firefighting effort.


The fire started at around 9 a.m. Thursday on the top floor of a five-storey building used by the garment firm to keep fabric in Can Tho City, forcing hundreds of workers to flee. Hundreds of firefighters from nearby provinces, including Ho Chi Minh City, have been dispatched to help Can Tho battle the blaze.


Many firefighters have been injured while some fainted over the last two day of extended fight.


Around 9 p.m. Thursday, the fire unexpectedly spread through a conveyor belt to an adjacent building which stores fur, threatening the safety of residents living nearby. More than 200 families were forced to evacuate. Kwong Lung - Meko Company specializes in feather processing and garment production. Its factory covers about 17,000 square meters and has more than 1,300 workers in the Tra Noc Industrial Park, about 15 kilometers from Can Tho downtown.

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