Man sets 11 relatives on fire, 3 dead so far

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Three of 11 members of a family set on fire by a man in a house in the northern province of Phu Tho had died as of Saturday.

Pham Viet Cuong, 31, who has reportedly confessed to the crime, was arrested Monday.

According to local police, Cuong came to the house of his aunt Pham Thi Binh, 39, one day earlier to attend the funeral of his grandmother.

At around 9 p.m. that day when all 11 family members had gathered in a room to discuss organizing the funeral, Cuong rushed in with a five-liter can of gasoline in his hands.

He poured the gasoline on everyone inside. The gasoline caught fire from candles burned on the altar and fire blazed up.

Cuong also lit a lighter and threw it into the room. He then locked the door from the outside.

Nine of the 11 people were seriously burned. Pham Thi Ben, Cuong's 56-year-old mother, is among them.

Cuong fled the house, but gave himself up to police the following morning.

The victims were rushed to the Phu Tho Town General Hospital and then transferred to a hospital in Hanoi for treatment of severe burns.

On Friday and Saturday, Ben, Pham Thi Hien, 56, and Dao Duc Huy, 50, succumbed to their injuries.

Three other family members are in critical condition.

The youngest victim of the attack is Ha Minh Tuan, 15 years old.

According to initial investigations, Cuong had conflicts with some family members earlier. He also disagreed with them on some matters in organizing the funeral and was furious. His mother Ben also scolded him at the family meeting.

Cuong is a nurse at a hospital in Thanh Hoa Province.

The case is being investigated further.

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