Investigators of the Hanoi police agency on Wednesday concluded that a faulty wire in a lead-acid battery belonging to a petrol-powered scooter parked close to a wall of the apartment block’s first floor caused a fire that killed 56 people on Tuesday last week.
The announcement clarifying the cause of the fatal blaze was also sent to the apartment owners at the building.
Investigation results showed that after the scooter caught fire, the flames quickly spread to some conduits and electric meter boxes mounted on the walls of the parking floor.
The fire immediately engulfed the floor and other areas of the block, creating a giant black column of smoke.
Among four fire extinguishers in the building checked by police officers, only one of them was found used, according to the announcement.
The conclusion was released seven days after the fire tragedy happened.
The conflagration erupted at the apartment block down a narrow alley on Khuong Ha Street in Thanh Xuan District before midnight on Tuesday last week and claimed the lives of 56 people while injuring 37 others.
At the time of the fire, many people were stuck inside the building housing 150 people.
Many fire trucks carrying hundreds of firefighters reached the scene of the blaze and put it out within 45 minutes, preventing it from spreading to adjacent houses and struggling to rescue victims.
One day after the deadly fire, police detained Nghiem Quang Minh, 44, residing in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, the owner of the apartment block, over alleged violations of fire prevention and fighting regulations.
The Ministry of Public Security also asked its forces to mitigate the aftermath of the incident, clarify the responsibility of relevant individuals and organizations, and impose sanctions on violators.
Hanoi suspended all cultural, sports, and entertainment activities from Thursday to Sunday last week to mourn the victims of the tragic inferno.
The decision was meant to share the sorrow with the bereaved families.