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​Free food handed out to survivors in Saigon apartment fire

Friday, March 23, 2018, 16:44 GMT+7

An act of kindness amidst tragedy is being seen in Ho Chi Minh City as people come together to give free food and drinks to survivors of a fire that killed 13 at a luxury apartment in District 8 early Friday morning.

The fire, which engulfed a Carina Plaza apartment building on Vo Van Kiet Street at around 1:30 am, had been put out as of Friday afternoon as firefighters continue to search for victims.

Hours after news of the catastrophy in local media, many people have set up makeshift stalls outside the building to hand out free food and drinks to panic-stricken survivors.

Hai Le, who works at a supermarket nearby, said he and other volunteers had given 100 portions of food to residents at the Carina Plaza apartment as of 12:00 pm.

Photos of the actions were shared on social media, attracting comments praising their kindness.

A written sign saying ‘Free food and drinks. Help yourself’ is seen at a stall outside a Carina Plaza apartment building in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City, March 23, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A written sign saying ‘Free food and drinks. Help yourself’ is seen at a stall outside a Carina Plaza apartment building in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City, March 23, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“I’ve been following news of the incident online and saw many survivors having to sleep on grassland after losing their home to the fire,” wrote Facebook user Duc Nguyen under a photo.

“Takeaway meals, bread and water are not worth much but their actions have warmed the hearts of many including me. It’s a beautiful side of Saigon,” he wrote.

Many have dropped by the food stalls to either volunteer to help or donate some money to keep the kindness going.

According to the latest updates, casualties from the Carina Plaza apartment fire still remain at 13 deaths and 50 injuries. However, authorities say the number could rise as search efforts are still ongoing.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, though a fire police chief said at a meeting with city officials the same day that he had not ruled out arson.

Volunteers carry a sign saying 100 portions of free lunch will become available at 12:00 pm outside the Carina Plaza apartment building in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City, March 23, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Volunteers carry a sign saying 100 portions of free lunch will become available at 12:00 pm outside the Carina Plaza apartment building in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City, March 23, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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TUAN SON / TUOI TRE NEWS

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