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Police defuse hostage situation in iconic Saigon skyscraper

Thursday, October 31, 2019, 12:55 GMT+7
Police defuse hostage situation in iconic Saigon skyscraper
Police officers pin down 29-year-old suspect Nguyen Hoang Phi Dat after storming his office in the Landmark 81 skyscraper in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre contributor

Police defused a hostage situation and apprehended the suspect at the Landmark 81 building in Ho Chi Minh City following a circumstance in which two employees were held at knife-point by their boss on Wednesday evening.

The male suspect was identified as 29-year-old entrepreneur Nguyen Hoang Phi Dat, who lived in an officetel on the forty-third floor of the Landmark 81, an 81-story skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh District.

Police said in a statement following the event that the incident was reported by one of the man’s employees who claimed to have just narrowly escaped being taken hostage alongside his colleagues.

In the man’s tip-off to police, he reported that he had gone to the company’s office in Landmark 81 earlier that day to hand in his resignation, but Dat reportedly got angry and ordered other employees to lock him up before beating him.

Mobile police task forces respond to a hostage situation in the Landmark 81 skyscraper in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre contributor
Mobile police task forces respond to a hostage situation in the Landmark 81 skyscraper in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre contributor

He also told police that two other employees were still being held against their will at the office.

Binh Thanh police and the city’s mobile police task forces were dispatched to the scene and found that the hostage taker was holding two victims at knife-point.

One of the hostages appeared to be injured.

The suspect also appeared to show signs of mental instability, according to police.

Mobile police task forces respond to a hostage situation in the Landmark 81 skyscraper in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor
Mobile police task forces respond to a hostage situation in the Landmark 81 skyscraper in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor

After more than three hours of unsuccessful hostage negotiations, around 9:30 pm, police officers stormed the office and apprehended Dat.

The injured hostage was rushed to hospital.

Binh Thanh police announced on Thursday that they are currently testing the suspect for evidence of drug use.

The Landmark 81 has been Vietnam’s tallest skyscraper since its opening in February 2018.

The building is home to a shopping mall, a hotel, conference facilities, luxury apartments, high-end retail spaces, restaurants, bars, and a multi-story observation deck.

The Landmark 81 skyscraper towers over other buildings in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The Landmark 81 skyscraper towers over other buildings in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

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