Bangkok: A total of 56 people have died in a fire outbreak in a multistory apartment building in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, the country’s news portal VietnamExpress reported Wednesday, citing local city authorities.
Hanoi’s city authorities have confirmed the death of 56 people, 39 of whom have been identified so far, the report said.
The outlet reported, citing the city’s education department, that 29 primary and secondary school students have been injured in the fire, ten of them have died, including one preschooler, four elementary school students and five secondary school students.
The search and rescue operation at the scene is still underway. There are missing people, including three children, whose whereabouts and condition is unknown, the report said.
The fire broke out at a 10-story apartment building in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan District at 11 p.m. on Tuesday (16:00 GMT), when most of the residents had already gone to bed, the media outlet reported earlier in the day, adding that a total of 150 people were registered in the building.
The arrival of fire services has been complicated by narrow streets and tight construction density. About 70 people were rescued before the fire was finally put out in the early hours of the morning. Out of 70 rescued, 54 were immediately delivered to the city’s hospitals, but several died before receiving medical treatment due to burning and combustion poisoning, the portal reported.
Emergency services still do not know the exact number of people who were in the building when the fire broke out. However, eyewitnesses and firefighters said that at least several residents escaped the fire by jumping on the roof of neighboring buildings.
The media also reported that, according to a preliminary investigation, the fire started in a bike parking lot, located on the building’s ground floor.