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Thirteen dead in Vietnam karaoke fire

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HANOI: A fire at a karaoke bar killed 13 people and injured two police officers in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, an official said Wednesday.

The blaze started Tuesday afternoon in the busy Cau Giay district and quickly spread to neighbouring houses, according to local official The Chung.

Photos showed plumes of smoke rising from the large fire as firefighters on ladders tackled the flames, with cars and motorbikes outside the building also burning.

“Hundreds of firemen and police officers were mobilised to extinguish the fire,” Chung told AFP.

He added that two police officers were being treated after they were injured trying to put out the blaze.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered police to immediately “investigate and conclude reasons for the fire, seriously punishing wrongdoing”, according to the government’s official website.

He also asked local authorities to closely inspect karaoke bars and restaurants for fire safety protocols and equipment, the statement added.

Blazes are common at houses, bars and restaurants in communist Vietnam where fire prevention and firefighting is limited.

In September, a seven-storey karaoke bar in Hanoi went up in flames at night, but no casualties were reported.

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