Disasters & Accidents

Deadly Hanoi apartment building fire caused by petrol motorbike short circuit: police

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Sep 20 (EFE).- A fire at an apartment building in Hanoi that caused 56 deaths last week was sparked by an electrical fault in a petrol motorbike, a police investigation has found.

A short circuit of an electrical wire in the battery area of the motorbike (scooter) sparked a fire that ignited electrical cables and meter boxes in the first floor parking lot of the multi-storey building before spreading, the Ministry of Public Security announced Wednesday, citing the Police findings.

In just two hours during the night of Sep. 12-13, the flames spread throughout 45 apartments over nine floors, causing the deaths of 56 people, including children, and injuries to 37.

The finding that the fire was sparked by a short-circuit on a petrol motorbike contradicts the rumors spread on social media that attributed the fire to a fault in an electric vehicle.

The shock that the fire caused in the country and the panic unleashed on social media led many owners and managers of apartment buildings to ban the charging of electric vehicles in their parking lots and even the cancellation of rental contracts for tenants with electric motorcycles, according to news website VnExpress.

The owner of the building, Nghiem Quang Minh, 44, has been held while investigations take place into whether his building complied with fire safety regulations.

The incident has revived debate in Vietnam over fire safety in large, densely populated cities. EFE


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