Massive blaze in Hanoi apartment block leaves at least 56 dead

State media say 37 people were taken to the hospital, and the identities of 39 victims have been verified.
By RFA Vietnamese
2023.09.13
Massive blaze in Hanoi apartment block leaves at least 56 dead Rescue workers carry a person on a stretcher out of a building on fire in Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
VNA via AP

Updated Sept. 13, 2023, 11:55 a.m. EDT

At least 56 people have died and dozens have been injured in a fire at a Hanoi apartment block, Vietnam’s state media reported Wednesday.

The blaze started just before midnight the previous day on the ground floor of the nine-storey building, according to the VietnamNews website.

It said say 37 people were taken to the hospital, and the identities of 39 victims have been verified.

The report said the police decided on Wednesday to detain the owner of the building, Nguyễn Quang Minh, for four months to undergo an investigation of fire safety code violations.

One family used a rope ladder to escape from a fourth-floor apartment while others on higher floors jumped onto neighboring roofs to escape the flames, VNExpress reported.

Rescue workers struggled to get fire trucks and ambulances down the narrow streets of Thanh Xuan district.

The flames caused serious damage to surrounding buildings.

Hanoi Fire.jpg
Smoke rises from a building in Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. Credit: VNA via AP

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang visited the scene Wednesday and called for an investigation, along with tougher regulation at small apartment buildings, according to a government statement.

Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.

Updated with the latest death toll, detention of building's owner.

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