Vietnam couple arrested for allegedly killing 1, injuring 2 in arson attack

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Doan Van Quang and his wife Phan Hong Hai, both 37, of Ca Mau stand next to the bed of their nine-year-old daughter Doan Nhu Thuy, who was treated for and later died of burns in an arson attack allegedly by their neighbors. Photo by Gia Bach 

Police in the southernmost province of Ca Mau Monday arrested a couple for allegedly setting fire to their neighbor's house last Saturday, killing a nine-year-old girl and injuring her parents.

Le Van Duong, 24, and his wife Do Thi Hong Kiem, 21, of Thoi Binh District's Le Hoang Tha hamlet were taken and five others belonging to her family were summoned for questioning.

Quang said he and his wife, Phan Hong Hai, both 37, and the victim, Doan Nhu Thuy, 9, were sleeping on August 29 when at around 1 a.m. he heard a dog bark.

His other three daughters, aged 5, 13 and 16, were asleep on a bed next to theirs.

He was about to get out of bed to see what was happening when someone broke open the door and threw a torch and petrol into his room.

He ordered his wife and daughters to get out, but by then Thuy's blanket had caught fire. The other three escaped unscathed.

He said later that Duong was the arsonist.

He rushed to hospital along with Hai and Thuy.

He was burned on the right side of his midriff and Hai, on her right shoulder.

Thuy was covered in burns and succumbed to them that evening.

Hai said since the house was built of metal and the bed of brick, the fire could not spread quickly and damage the entire house.

Quang said he had quarreled with Kiem's parents over a land dispute with her on August 24.

His oldest daughter told him that Huynh Ngoc Diep, Kiem's mother, had warned of "bloodletting."

Scared, he tried to make peace with the neighbors, but to no avail and the arson still occurred, he said.

The police are investigating.

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