Many killed in a “huge fire” in an apartment building in Hanoi, Vietnam | News

State media reported that rescue operations were underway in the nine-storey building housing 150 people.

Several people died in a “huge fire” that broke out in a residential building in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, according to official media, while operations are underway to rescue survivors.

The fire broke out around midnight Wednesday local time, but was contained by 2 a.m. (19:00 GMT), the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported. She added that dozens of people died in the fire that engulfed the nine-storey building, inhabited by 150 people and located in a narrow alley in a residential area southwest of Hanoi.

She added that about 70 people were rescued from the building, and 54 of them were taken to hospital.

The authorities have not yet confirmed the number of deaths.

The VN Express International website said hospitals had confirmed the deaths of at least 11 people.

Among the victims were children.

Television footage showed firefighters equipped with hoses and ladders at the scene at night, while a column of thick smoke rose from the building during the day. Agence France-Presse said that the small balconies of the building were surrounded by iron, and the residential building had only one exit, and there was no emergency ladder outside.

“I heard a lot of cries for help. We couldn’t help them much,” a woman who lives near the building told AFP at the site. “The apartment is very locked and there is no escape route, and it is impossible for the victims to get out.”

Another witness said that a young child was thrown from a high floor to escape the flames.

“I was about to fall asleep when I smelled something. I went out and saw the fire,” she said.

There was smoke everywhere. “There was a young child who was thrown from a high floor, and I don’t know if he survived or not, although people used a mattress to catch him,” she said.

The agency said that the police opened an investigation into the causes of the fire.

Vietnam has seen several deadly fires in recent years, often breaking out in entertainment venues such as popular karaoke bars.

A year ago, a fire in a three-story karaoke bar in Ho Chi Minh City’s mall killed 32 people. Up to 17 people were also injured in this fire, and the owner was arrested on charges related to breaching fire prevention regulations.

In the wake of the tragedy, the Prime Minister ordered the inspection of all high-risk places.

Thirteen people died in 2018 after an apartment complex caught fire, also in Ho Chin Minh City.

Another 13 died in 2016 at a karaoke hall in Hanoi after a fire.

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