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PM requires investigation into deadly apartment block fire in Hanoi

PM requires investigation into deadly apartment block fire in Hanoi

Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 18:30 GMT+7
PM requires investigation into deadly apartment block fire in Hanoi
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh examines the scene of a fire at a mini apartment block in Hanoi, September 13, 2023. Photo: Hong Quang / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday afternoon asked the relevant agencies to quickly investigate the cause of a fire at an apartment block in Hanoi, which has claimed the lives of dozens of people, while inspecting the scene of the fatal incident.

As of 5:00 am on Wednesday, local authorities had rescued about 70 people, rushing 54 people to the hospital, including dozens of the dead, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

The government leader hailed firefighters and local residents for joining hands to extinguish the fire and rescue victims.

PM Chinh asked Hanoi authorities to review all apartment buildings in the capital city to prevent similar tragic incidents.

Firefighters battle a fire at a mini apartment block in Hanoi, September 13, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Firefighters battle a fire at a mini apartment block in Hanoi, September 13, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“Such a high-rise building, up to 10 floors, which looks like a mini apartment block, has no escape route. It is unacceptable when [the apartment block which houses] 45 households has no exit,” Chinh said.

The prime minister also visited Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital, where many victims of the blaze are in treatment, and asked doctors to do their utmost to save the victims.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits a victim of the fire receiving treatment at Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital. Photo: Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits a victim of the fire receiving treatment at Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital, September 13, 2023. Photo: Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre

In an earlier official dispatch sent to the Ministry of Public Security and localities, the prime minister affirmed the fire caused extremely serious consequences and left many people dead and injured.

On behalf of the government, he extended his condolences to the families of the victims and asked the Hanoi People’s Committee to encourage and offer support to them.

The city will have to closely work with the Ministry of Public Security to mitigate the aftermath of the incident, identify the cause, and clarify the responsibility of relevant individuals and organizations. 

An injured victim is taken in an ambulance. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

An injured victim is taken to an ambulance. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

On the morning of the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung also rushed to the scene to give guidance to the rescue work. 

Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Van Tuyen reported that the fire caused serious consequences with a high number of people killed and injured, without stating the exact number of deaths.

A man promptly escapes from the fire. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre

A man promptly escapes from the fire. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre

The fire broke out at 11:50 pm on Tuesday at an apartment block on Khuong Ha Street in Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi.

The building, with an area of some 200 square meters, is home to around 150 people.

Residents in the neighborhood recalled that the inferno engulfed the apartment block and gave rise to a column of black smoke which was tens of meters high.

Many people inside the building shouted for help.

The fire gives rise to a column of black smoke which was tens of meters high. Photo: Supplied

The fire gives rise to a column of black smoke tens of meters high. Photo: Supplied

Around 15 fire trucks carrying hundreds of firefighters later reached the scene of the blaze to put it out.

As the apartment block is located down a narrow alley, rescuers struggled to access it.

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Thanh Ha - Hong Quang - Duong Lieu - Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre News

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