Man killed in firecracker explosion in Vietnam

TN News

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A 33-year-old man was killed and his brother suffered serious injuries after firecrackers they had illegally stored in their house in Ha Long town went off Saturday.

The deadly blast began at around 2 p.m. at Mai Tung Lam's house in Ha Tu ward, killing him on the spot.

His brother Mai Long Thanh, 29, suffered severe injuries and was rushed to the Quang Ninh General Hospital.

A neighbor, identified only as T, said he was among the first to arrive at the scene and saw their house's roof had been blown away by the explosion.

After the explosion firecrackers continued to go off for 15 minutes before they could approach the house and see Thanh struggling near the door pleading for help.

"His brother had died and his body was badly burnt," he said.

In Vietnam people used to set off firecrackers for New Lunar Year before they were banned in 1995.

On November 9 the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued instructions to step up action against smuggling of firecrackers.

He admitted that illegal production, trading, possession, and use of firecrackers remain widespread in many localities, especially cities and provinces near the northern border and in the Red River delta.

Since February 2011 police have arrested 2,173 people and seized 27,558 kilograms of illegal firecrackers.

Investigators said most firecrackers are smuggled into Vietnam, especially at year end, just before the Lunar New Year.

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