Nearly 2,000 offices at risk of fire in Hanoi

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Nearly 2,000 offices in Hanoi are in serious danger of explosions and fires, and the city's capacity to fight fires is still underdeveloped, a local police leader has said.

Nguyen Van Son, deputy head of the Hanoi Fire Fighting and Prevention Police, told VnExpress that inspections had revealed that the capital was in need of nearly 6,000 more fire hydrants.

Many main streets and old quarters don't have any fire hydrants, the news source reported.

Worse still, the city is short on fire fighters with nine divisions covering 29 districts, while nearly half of 84 fire trucks are over 15 years old, Son said.

The inspections were launched after a fire killed two people at the JSC34 building in Thanh Xuan District last month.

Nguyen Duc Nghi, vice director of the Hanoi police, said officers had previously fined the building's investor for building the trash pipe out of glass-reinforced plastic instead of metal as regulated.

The pipe through which families dumped their trash caught fire and spreading smoke when the fire broke out in the 18-story building's garbage room on March 10. The smoke then killed a woman and her 10-year-old son. 

Nghi said that Construction Joint Stock Company No. 34 had not been given a deadline to replace the pipe, which was in direct violation of local building regulations. The company had yet to change the pipe, he said.

Police investigations also found that the trash pipe's automatic cooling system had been replaced with a manual one, the official was quoted as saying by the news website.

Nghi said police had cooperated with the Ministry of Construction to ensure that another 13 investors also using trash pipes made of composite materials replace them.

They have asked Mai Dong Company in Hai Ba Trung District, which is specialized in producing glass-reinforced plastic, to temporarily stop supplying trash collecting systems made of composite material.

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