Deadly Hanoi karaoke blaze was electrical fire, police say

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A charred karaoke parlor where a fire broke out on May 3 killing five people in Hanoi. PHOTO COURTESY OF VNEXPRESS
Inspectors believed that a problem with an electrical board sparked a fierce fire that killed five people at a karaoke parlor in Hanoi on Saturday.
On Tuesday, VnExpress quoted an unnamed officer with Dong Da District’s police division as saying that the electrical board was situated at the foot of the main staircase in the four-story parlor.
Trinh Van Bon, an employee, discovered the fire while cleaning the building.
He attempted to put it out with a mini-extinguisher, but failed to recover the device which was located next to the board.
So, he ended up using a bucket of water.
However, Bon’s attempts failed and the fire spread to the floors above.
The man fled the building along with other employees, while five others who were sleeping in upstairs rooms became trapped in the blaze.
The parlor’s owner was among the casualties who, except for a single female employee who died from burn wounds, suffocated to death in all the smoke.
Of the parlor's four floors, the first served as a reception area with a computer, a couch and a pair of speakers, while each of other floors had six private karaoke rooms, it said, adding that the building’s loft served as a changing room and a computer room.
Part of the balconies were covered with bricks and glass, and the parlor’s walls were covered with soundproofing foam.
The officer told VnExpress that the parlor had operating licenses and safety certificates of meeting requirements for fire safety.
He said police are still waiting for the results of scientific tests and then will decide whether or not to seek criminal charges.

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