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Four killed in suspected bomb explosion in Vietnam capital

Sunday, March 20, 2016, 11:14 GMT+7
Four killed in suspected bomb explosion in Vietnam capital
Emergency workers are seen carrying an injured victim away from the explosion site in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016

A suspected bomb went off on Saturday in Hanoi, killing four and injuring six others.

The location of the explosion, which happened at 3:00 pm, is the Van Phu residential area in Ha Dong District on the outskirts of the Vietnamese capital.

Witnesses at the scene reported to have seen a scrap vendor who lived in the area carrying an object shaped like a 12kg gas tank out on the sidewalk of his scrap procurement shop prior to the explosion.

The man was reportedly sawing the object when it went off, leaving a 3m2-wide crater on the sidewalk.

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The crater created by the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The explosion completely destroyed the ground floor of the shop, while damaging 36 other apartments in the area as well as numerous passing vehicles.

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The site of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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The site of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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The site of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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The site of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Four were killed in the deadly blast, including the scrap vendor and some passers-by, while six others were wounded and immediately hospitalized.

Among those losing their lives were a 31-year-old mother and her 7-year-old daughter who were passing by the site at the time of the explosion.

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The body of a killed victim lies on the street in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Family members of a killed victim cry at the scene of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper sources disclosed that the object might have contained explosives, and could have been an undetonated wartime bomb.

Dismantling wartime bombs for a living is common in Vietnam, and has led to heartbreaking deaths in the Southeast Asian country.

Residents living as far as 4km away from the scene reported to have heard the explosion loud and clear, while those within 100m from the explosion could feel its fierce impact.

Bui Van Luong, who was stopping by his friend’s house 100m away from the explosion, said he heard a loud bang, and glasses everywhere were shattered.

“People rushed out on the street, and falling motorbikes and fire were all over the place. A truck crashed into a tiles shop, and the driver and a woman in the cabin were seriously injured,” Luong recalled.

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Shattered glass windows of the apartments near the site of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thi Bac, a shop owner living near the scene, said, “I was sitting in my shop when I heard what felt like a bomb going off. I was thrust away by the impact, the glass doors on my second floor shattered, and flowerpots thrown to the ground.”

“Everything was chaotic. Women and children rushed to safety, as we saw several other hazardous objects were still inside the scrap procurement shop,” Bac said.

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Curious onlookers crowd the site of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Tuoi Tre

Police and emergency responders arrived by the hundreds at the scene shortly after, and survivors were instantly hospitalized.

Military demining forces were also called to the scene to search for any more potential risks.

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Police, emergency workers, and military demining forces gather at the exlosion site in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Tuoi Tre

Following the incident, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai visited the victims in hospital and provided them with initial financial assistance from local authorities.

Later the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed relevant bodies to provide support for the affected families and quickly carry out an investigation into the cause of the blast.

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Hoang Trung Hai, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, visits a victim of the explosion in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Nguyen Duc Chung (second left), Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi, inspects the scene in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, March 19, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Watch footage of the explosion:

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