Owner arrested in reminiscent fire in Vietnam karaoke bar

PHOTO: Fire in karaoke bar in Vietnam results in 32 deaths, owner's arrest. (via NY Times)

The owner of a karaoke bar in Vietnam has been arrested after a fire broke out which resulted in the death of 32 people. The tragedy took place north of Ho Chi Minh City on September 7, just one month after a reminiscent fire at the Mountain B Pub that claimed the lives of 23 people in Thailand and brought calls for stricter regulation of safety in entertainment venues.

The authorities are blaming the blaze on a short circuit in the electrical system which soon engulfed the 30 karaoke rooms occupying the three-story building. Thirty-two people died as a result of the fire while 17 people were hospitalised with injuries incurred escaping the blaze. There are two seriously injured patients in the hospital getting treatment while 15 others have been released.

Many panicked patrons broke bones as they dove from the roof of the building to escape the inferno, which was Vietnam’s worse incident of this sort since 2002.

Now authorities in Vietnam have arrested the owner of the karaoke bar according to a police report yesterday. Binh Duong Provincial Police confirmed that they had taken the 42 year old bar owner into custody on Friday.

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They say he will be charged criminally for actions related to fire prevention regulations on suspicion that he breached some safety rules leading to the fire or at least the high death toll. The charge has come even though authorities confirmed the bar had been checked repeatedly over the past three years and had consistently met all fire safety standards each time.

An investigation will continue for at least the next four months, during which time the bar owner will remain in police custody.

Similar to the current situation in Thailand, the Prime Minister of Vietnam has ordered inspections of nightlife venues, especially those considered to be at high risk for safety violations or potential catastrophes. Just like the disastrous bar fire outside Pattaya last month, Vietnam has had a few entertainment venues go up in flames in recent years. Two karaoke bars in Hanoi were the most recent disasters and spurred the action from the prime minister.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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