A 15-year-old student in the central highlands province of Kon Tum has confessed to burning down the province's largest communal house after being dared to do so by his friends.
Nguyen Thanh Long from Ly Tu Trong Secondary School told police that he and four of his friends, who are all 17 years old, broke into the nha rong a kind of stilt house mainly made of cogongrass on Sunday morning to get drunk, Thang Loi Ward Police Chief Nguyen Van Phung said on Monday.
At around 3.30 p.m. the friends challenged Long to burn the house, known as the Kon Klor Cultural Communal House, where the province's major events were held.
Given hot weather and the flammable building materials, the house, which was built in 2000 with a total investment of nearly VND1 billion (US$52,617), was totally destroyed within half an hour despite fire fighting efforts.
According to police, local people detained two of the students when the fire broke out, and Long surrendered himself later.
The police investigation is ongoing.