13 dead and 28 injured in Saigon apartment fire
VIETNAM: Thirteen people were killed and 28 others were injured in a residential fire in a luxury apartment building in Ho Chi Minh City early on Friday March 23, reports Tuoi Tre News.
The fire started at the lower part of the apartment on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 8 at around 1:30 am local time, causing multiple pieces of concrete to collapse. The residents were mostly sleeping and many were trapped inside the building.
More than 200 firefighters and 34 fire trucks were immediately dispatched to the scene, but still failed to rescue some residents. The fire was put out at around 4:30 am.
As of 8:00 am the same day, Nguyen Thanh Huong, acting director of the Ho Chi Minh City fire department, said 13 people were confirmed dead, while 28 others were injured.
The building’s 22,000-square-meter basement, with a parking space of 1,000 square meters, were completely destroyed, with 150 motorbikes and 13 cars burned.
Many rescued residents said they had no idea that their building was on fire as the alarm system did not work.
“There was no alarming sound and the fire sprinkler system just didn’t work,” one resident said. “We only learned of the fire when its smoke and heat reached the 14th floor.”
Vo Van Hoan, head of the secretariat of the Ho Chi Minh City administration, said the fire resulted in the biggest damage costs and casualties in the southern metropolis in recent years.