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Second Hanoi high-rise fire in 3 days, hundreds escape in panic

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 15:11 GMT+7
Second Hanoi high-rise fire in 3 days, hundreds escape in panic
People are seen outside the 33-story apartment building VP 5 in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi, on the evening of October 13, 2015, when a blaze broke out on the 25th floor of the high-rise.

Hundreds of families at a 33-story apartment building in Hanoi managed to escape from a fire that broke out there on Tuesday, the second high-rise blaze in the capital city in three days.  

It is notable that the two high-rises have been developed by the same investor, Hanoi-based Lai Chau Private Construction Enterprise No. 1.

The flames erupted about 8:25 pm from an electric box at the exit staircase on the 25th floor of the VP 5 apartment building, located in the Linh Dam urban area in Hoang Mai District, a local told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper last night.

The fire then spread and smoke rose up to the 31st story, a resident, who lives on the 24th level of the tenement, said.

Many residents on the affected floors used the fire extinguishing system to constrain the fire, while numerous people from hundreds of households tried to get out of the building in panic, witnesses said.

The capital city sent three fire engines along with a large number of firefighters to the scene and the blaze was put out by around 8:45 pm.

There were no reports of casualties in the conflagration, authorities reported.

Police have examined the site of the fire and are investigating the cause.

At about 7:25 pm on Sunday, a large fire blazed for two and a half hours in the 34-story apartment building CT4 in the capital, trapping hundreds of people inside before they were rescued, authorities said.

Thousands of residents rushed down from the upper floors in order to escape the building, and dozens of people were taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation.

The blaze claimed no lives but destroyed about 200 motorbikes and 45 bicycles, and damaged many other vehicles.

The high-rise is located in the Xa La urban area in Ha Dong District.

According to the Hanoi Department of Fire Prevention and Control and Rescue and Salvage Police, Lai Chau Private Construction Enterprise No. 1 has failed to comply with fire safety regulations, but still sold its apartments to residents.

Officials have not approved the fire and explosion safety level of the building because its developer has not met the requirements set out by the local fire agency, Colonel Nguyen Van Son, deputy director of the department.

Despite this, the developer sold the apartments in the building to residents, Colonel Nguyen Van Son, deputy director of the department, said, considering this a violation of the current fire and explosion safety regulations.

In July 2015, the department had a meeting with the firm on fire safety issues and fined it VND133 million (US$5,950) for four violations, the official added.

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