Dozens are killed in apartment block inferno: Residents trapped inside barred balconies are burned alive in Vietnam, with a small child thrown from a high floor in desperate bid to escape flames
- Local said block has ‘no escape route’ making it ‘impossible ‘for victims to flee
Dozens of people have been killed in an apartment block inferno in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, with witnesses reporting screams from inside and a small boy thrown from the building.
The blaze began just before midnight on Tuesday (17.00 GMT) in the parking floor of the 10-storey building, an area packed with motorbikes, witnesses said. It then made its way up the building, with smoke billowing out of barred balconies and windows.
Authorities rescued about 70 people and rushed 54 to hospital, including ‘dozens of dead’, the official Vietnam News Agency said.
A minister has been reported as saying that the number of casualties ‘is very high’, with many of those taken to hospital thought to have perished. At least three children are thought to have been among the dead.
‘I heard a lot of shouts for help. We could not help them much,’ said Hoa, a woman who lives near the block. ‘The apartment is so closed with no escape route, impossible for the victims to get out.’
Authorities rescued about 70 people and rushed 54 to hospital, including ‘dozens of dead’, the official Vietnam News Agency said
People watch on as the fire raged at an apartment building in Hanoi last night
Smoke was seen billowing out of barred balconies and windows at the ten-storey apartment block
A minister has been reported as saying that the number of casualties ‘is very high’, with many of those taken to hospital thought to have perished
The blaze was out by Wednesday morning, as rescuers still struggled to access the building, which is down a narrow alley in a residential area in the southwest of the city.
The building’s small balconies were surrounded by iron bars, with the apartment block having only a single exit – and no emergency ladder on the outside.
Around 150 people lived in the complex, authorities said.
Another witness, Huong, said a small boy was thrown from a high floor to help him escape the flames.
‘I was about to sleep when I smelled something. I went outside and saw the fire,’ she said.
‘The smoke was everywhere. There was a little boy thrown from a high floor, I don’t know whether he survived or not although people used a mattress to catch him,’ she said.
The deputy prime minister, Tran Luu Quang, visited the scene Wednesday morning, state media said.
Victims pulled out of the burning building were taken to hospital on stretchers as local residents watched on
Smoke damage is pictured on the wall of an apartment block after the major fire
Rescue workers transport a victim to hospital following the major fire at an apartment block in Hanoi
Firefighters worked through the night to put out the fire and rescue people from the building
Vietnam has experienced several deadly fires in recent years, frequently at entertainment venues.
A year ago, a blaze in a three-storey karaoke bar in commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City killed 32 people.
At least 17 people were injured in that fire, with the owner arrested on charges related to breaching fire prevention regulations.
Women wait near the site of the blaze for information about relatives who were inside the building
The blaze was out by Wednesday morning. Pictured: Residents stand behind a barrier near the site
In the aftermath, the prime minister ordered an inspection of all high-risk venues.
Thirteen people died in 2018 after an apartment complex, also in Ho Chin Minh City, caught fire.
Another 13 died in 2016 in a karaoke venue in Hanoi following a fire.
Southeast Asia frequently sees deadly fires with accidental conflagrations common, a result of lax safety standards.
Source: Read Full Article