Can Tho garment plant destroyed in four-day blaze to receive $18mn in damages

The fire erupted on March 23 and took four days to extinguish

Firefighters are seen at the scene in Can Tho, southern Vietnam.

Police in the southern city of Can Tho have come to a conclusion on the cause of a massive fire at a local garment factory in March, with the company agreeing on a compensation settlement with its insurer.

On March 23, the plant of Taiwanese garment firm Kwong Lung – Meko Co. Ltd. at Tra Noc Industrial Park in Can Tho became engulfed in a blaze that took four days to extinguish.

Can Tho police said on Tuesday that the fire had been sparked by an electrical fault, while an independent unit hired by the company’s insurance firm confirmed that the total financial damage caused was VND368 billion, or US$18 million.

The insurer has agreed to cover the damages.

Both the fire’s magnitude and the compensation settlement were record highs for the Can Tho industrial sector.

The blaze began at 9:30 am on March 23, and was believed to have been put out after eight hours. However, at 8:00 pm the same day, the flames sparked again, prompting the Can Tho fire department to call for reinforcements from firefighters in Ho Chi Minh City and other nearby localities.

The fire escalated once again on the evening of March 26 before being completely put out by the following day.

On April 16, another small fire ignited again while a group of welders were dismantling machinery at the facility but this was quickly brought under control.

Kwong Lung - Meko has been operating in Can Tho since 1988, with two production plants covering a total of 17,000 square meters and employing 1,300 workers.

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