Vietnam karaoke bar fire kills at least 32 people – BBC

At least 32 people have died and others have been injured in a huge fire at a karaoke complex in southern Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh City.
The fire broke out on the upper floor of the establishment on Tuesday night, trapping customers and staff.
To escape, four people jumped from the second and third floors, local media said. They were injured but survived.
Firefighters reached the scene shortly after alarms went off. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.
Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the Public Security Ministry, said 32 people were now confirmed to have lost their lives, including 17 men and 15 women.
The search for victims has ended, the VnExpress news site quoted an official saying. There were around 60 people in the bar when fire broke out, according to the public security ministry.
"The fire started on the second floor of the bar and quickly spread to the third floor, which was full of flammable material," it said in a statement.
A top official with the ruling Communist Party in Binh Duong province to the north of Ho Chi Minh City, where the bar is located, had earlier put the death toll at 23, with 11 injured.
The An Phu karaoke bar occupied a significantly sized building with 29 rooms. State media reported the bodies of eight people were found in the toilets.
About a third of the building had been on fire, local officials said. It had several decorations and wooden decor, BBC Vietnamese reported.
Crews said the blaze took just under an hour to bring under control.
This is the deadliest in a series of fires in karaoke bars in Vietnam in recent years, raising concerns over poor safety standards. Last month, three firefighters died as they tried to extinguish a fire at a karaoke venue in the capital Hanoi.
In 2016 a fire at another karaoke lounge in Hanoi left 13 people dead.
Giang Nguyen, BBC Vietnamese news editor
This fire has shocked Vietnam, not only because it is the deadliest of its kind – 32 people lost their lives and more than 40 are badly injured – but because fires are so common in the country's karaoke bars.
Since 2014, there have been at least six such incidents, resulting in the deaths of 58 people.
An investigation by Vietnamese MPs in 2019 highlighted serious issues with the work of the Fire and Rescue Department and local authorities, but their recommendations seem to have been lost in a maze of red tape.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, himself a former deputy chief of the ministry in charge of firefighting brigades, has now ordered a thorough inspection of all health and safety and fire regulations across the country.
But the public want to know the root cause of the problem. Is it a lack of oversight in fire prevention measures, often caused by corruption in licensing for entertainment venues, or just bad luck?
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