Three dancers killed in bar fire sparked by fireworks

By Gia Chinh    November 2, 2020 | 09:43 pm PT
Three dancers killed in bar fire sparked by fireworks
Residents stand outside X5 bar in Vinh Phuc Province after a fire broke out on the night of November 2, 2020. Photo by Mai The Tung.
A fire broke out at a bar in the northern province of Vinh Phuc Monday night, killing three teenaged dancers who had sheltered in a toilet.

At 11:30 p.m. the X5 bar and club in Vinh Tuong Town, around 40 kilometers from Hanoi, began its first year anniversary party and fireworks were let off on the stage.

A few minutes later flames and smoke came from the ceiling and people screamed and rushed outside. Quickly thick black smoke enveloped the entire bar.

"As the guests saw the smoke, there was a stampede to escape," an eyewitness said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene, but they had difficulty reaching the flamed since the bar has only one main door. They had to knock down walls to enter the bar and extinguish the fire.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Bui Minh Tien, a top firefighting official, said when rescuers went inside they discovered three women inside a toilet with the door locked.

They were rushed to a hospital where they were declared dead due to asphyxiation.

"The victims had managed to get out but went back to the second floor to pick up their belongings. After seeing a lot of smoke they panicked and rushed to the toilet to take shelter," Tien said.

Two were from Hanoi and aged 18 and 19, and while the other was 18 and hailed from the northern mountainous Lao Cai Province.

They had been hired to dance at the party.

Police said they suspected sparks from the fireworks came into contact with hydrogen in balloons and caused the fire.

They are investigating further.

In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam reported 2,530 fires in which at least 56 people died and property worth VND416 billion ($17.96 million) was damaged, according to official statistics.

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