Police are searching for two attackers who threw acid at a couple in a car, seriously burning one of them in the northern city of Hai Phong on Sunday.
The victims, Trinh Xuan Thanh, 40, and his girlfriend Nguyen Thi Bich Phuong, 42, were rushed to a local hospital on Sunday afternoon with acid burns in their face, necks and arms.
They were later transfered to Hanoi-based National Burns Institute.
According to witnesses, Thanh and Phuong just entered his car on To Hieu St. when the two attackers in hoodies approached on motorbike. One of them knocked on the car's window.
When Thanh scrolled down the window, the attacker threw acid into the car, and fled the scene immediately with the accomplice on the motorbike.
Thanh suffered severe burns to his eyes, face, torso, arms and legs, and Phuong to her left arm and neck.
They managed to get out of the car and several owners along the street helped them wash off the acid with water.
Thanh, a wealthy local businessman, is married with two children but has been in a romantic relationship with Phuong for many years, a source told Thanh Nien on Monday.
However, Phuong's relatives and neighbors rejected speculations of a "love triangle" attack.
They said Thanh's wife is aware of and accepts his relationship with Phuong, and the trio somehow maintained a "rare, fine relationship." Phuong herself is a close friend of Thanh's wife, they said.
Colonel Pham Duy Dien of Hai Phong City Police Department told Thanh Nien the attackers must have carefully observed the couple’s routine.
It had been a while since the city last witnessed such a vicious attack, he said.