Police in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak have ruled out the possibility that terrorists were involved in a blast that killed three officers at their headquarters on Monday night.
A press conference was organized by the provincial People’s Committee and the Department of Police on Tuesday morning to provide details about the explosion.
During the meeting, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Bui Ngoc Tuan, chief of staff at the Dak Lak police department, affirmed that the explosion was an accident, which was not caused by terrorists or other opposing forces.
Three officers were killed while three others injured in the blast, which occurred in the exhibit storage room of the provincial police headquarters, Tuan stated, adding that several nearby houses were also damaged.
The three deceased victims were Phan The Trung, 30, officer of the criminal division, Ngo Quang Cuong, 32, and Y Quyet Bkrong, 29, both environmental police officers.
According to Bui Hong Quy, chief of the office of the Dak Lak administration, BKrong is the son of Nie Thuat, former member of the Central Party Committee and secretary of the provincial Party Committee.
Local residents observe the incident on December 12, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The explosion happened at around 9:00 pm on Monday as some witnesses stated they heard a loud noise before seeing fire and rescue vehicles rushing to the police department.
The victims were later brought to the Dak Lak General Hospital for emergency treatment, while competent agencies were investigating the scene to determine the cause of the blast.
Whether or not the explosion damaged the exhibits and would affect the investigations of relevant cases was still unclear as focus has been directed to saving the victims and probing the scene, Nguyen Tuan Ha, vice-chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said.
He also refused to answer what the officers were doing prior to the accident.
The prime minister has requested local authorities to exert all efforts to figure out the reason behind the explosion and properly deal with its consequences.