Man sets himself, girlfriend, son on fire over gambling debt quarrel

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A man burnt himself, his girlfriend, and her 12-year-old son to death after quarreling with the woman over his gambling debts in Ho Chi Minh City early Saturday.

At around 3:40 a.m. residents living in a hamlet in Binh Chanh District's Tan Kien Commune heard screams from the house of the woman, Pham Kim Trang, 38.

They rushed to the scene and saw a fierce blaze consuming the house, which was locked from inside.

By the time the police arrived some 30 minutes later, the 50-square-meter house was completely burned down.

Officers pulled three bodies out of the rubble. Trang and Ngo Phat Tai, 46, were dead, while Le Quoc Vu was alive but severely burnt.

He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed Saturday evening.

According to neighbors, after divorcing her husband, Trang had been living in the house with Vu and Tai for several years.

The couple ran a small eatery and often quarreled, a Thanh Nien source said.

Recently Tai lost money gambling on football and asked Trang to repay his debts by selling the house, but she refused.

The neighbors said they heard Trang and Tai fighting the evening before the tragedy happened.

According to the police, at around 3:30 a.m. Tai quarreled with Trang and electrocuted her by using a live wire.

Vu rushed to hug his mother and was also electrocuted.

Tai then poured gasoline over all of them and set fire.

Trang screamed for help and tried to run but the door was locked, the police said.

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